The ability to charge an electric vehicle (EV) without wires is an attractive option.
This would eliminate the need to get out of an EV during bad weather, stressful situations and more. Dealing with plugs has been viewed as a major reason for the slow response to EV purchases around the world. Wireless charging of any type of EV is going to be now possible. The first deployment of EVs with wireless charging capabilities is set to begin when the Mercedes-Benz S500e class hybrid vehicle release in 2017. It’s possible this new technology could do away with an EV using the current plug-in charger technology. This is innovative green technology. It could help the environment on the same level as auto recycling.
The idea for wireless charging has been around since the early 1900s. Nikolai Tesla believed electromagnetic energy could be used to send power from one coil to another. With wireless EV charging, the energy goes from a transmitter coil closed inside a pad that is placed on pavement. The energy is then sent to a receiver coil located inside a pad beneath an EV. Alternating current flows through an outlet coil. This creates an electromagnetic field. This makes it possible for power to move to a secondary coil located inside a pad on an EV. When the EV is in proper position over the charging pad, a light will turn on in the EV. This is when charging will start. The two coils must be approximately 8 inches from one another for successful charging to occur.
Plug-In Charging Obstacles
The need to plug in an EV for charging has kept away many consumers. Many people who own an EV will just park their car for up to 90 minutes without plugging it in for charging. When this is done regularly, it will significantly drain the battery. When a plug-in station is located in a large city, they are easily damaged. A number of municipalities around the country have reported that thieves have cut the cables at EV charging stations. The thieves want the copper that is inside the wires. The larger the cables, the more attractive they are to thieves. The charging stations remain energized even when the cables removed. This can create a dangerous situation for the public. With the wireless technology, there is nothing for thieves to break or remove. These wireless pads are strong and durable. They are designed to be driven over by large vehicles and more.
There is currently a partnership between BMW and Mercedes-Benz concerning the wireless technology. BMW is working hard to develop a wireless charging system for their i3 series EV and i8 series plug-in hybrid vehicle. A prototype test version was created by Qualcomm for the i8 series. Many other carmakers are trying to have this type of technology available for their 2020 model vehicles.
Wireless charging of vehicles used for public transportation is gaining interest. This technology that would enable public transportation vehicles to continue operating without stopping for fuel or being plugging in for a charge. It is estimated this could save public transportation companies hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. This technology would enable public transportation vehicles to be run more intensively. They travel predictable routes. This would mean charging pads could be placed along an identified routes for wireless charging.
Home Charging Pads
There are currently plans to develop ways for charging pads to be installed in homes. The first models will be similar to current charging stations. They will work in conjunction with a wall box unit. There will be a cord that runs to the charging pad placed on the floor. The cost for the home units will be similar to the cost of current charging units. Most will be able to provide an EV an 80 percent charge in half an hour. A full charge will take approximately two hours.