Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles

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We have talked a lot about wireless charging for the gadgets in our pocket and this industry has a lot many options to enable the gadget’s wireless charging. But one industry has adapted the wireless charging technology few years back and is progressing at a high pace. It’s the auto industry. With the introduction of electric vehicles (EV) the auto industry have taken a step away from the conventional fuel based cars and move towards a revolutionary battery powered vehicles.

Not only cars but even public transport buses have adapted the wireless charging technology. Recently UK’s first electric bus has been launched in Milton Keynes and it has the wireless charging capability which ensures that the bus can operate for 17 hours per day. The batteries are recharged to 70% in just 10 minutes at each end of route.  The project is still in trial phase for next five years.

Let us talk about the electric cars and its wireless charging capability

Last week Toyota was in news for introducing wireless charging for its car. Toyota is testing this technology in its Prius hybrid cars, wherein the car can be moved over a wireless charging pad capable of charging the cares battery at a distance of few inches. This has been possible by Toyota by its cooperation with Witricity.

Plugless Power is another, but independent attempt to charge the car wirelessly. Plugless Power is not a car making company. Instead, it helps to enable electric cars with wireless charging technology. With a charge of less than $ 3000 the company can install a wireless charging receiver in the car and a transmitter in your garage’s floor. You just have to get the car’s receiver on top of the transmitter. The device is directional and indicate the driver if the alignment of the car’s receiver is proper or not. The charging system can be made time dependent, that is, if you want the charging to start in the off peak electricity rates then set the start time accordingly and save some money. Currently Plugless Power can enable wireless charging in two electric cars – Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt.

An attempt made by Qualcomm is to make available the wireless charging of cars to the mass. The project is called Qualcomm Halo. The idea is not only to make all the cars wireless charging enabled but to have wireless charging stations (like gas stations). The beauty of wireless charging stations is that there need not be a dedicated station built, but instead the charging capability can be made available at public parking spots. It extends to have wireless charging transmitter at traffic signals and road side parking spots. Not only that, Qualcomm is working to make an entire freeway/highway to have wireless charging transmitters installed which can charge the car at high speed thus allowing the electric car to cover longer distance without stopping for recharge and use less powered batteries.

The main advantage is to overcome the dependency on the conventional fuel (petro, diesel, etc) for the vehicle. This will definitely reduce the environmental population. Rather than using the electricity from house a dedicated and environment friendly solar panel can be installed at homes for providing the electricity to the wireless transmitter. The same can be used in public parking spots. Thus taking off the burden from the electric power plants to provide more electricity for the residence area.

Experts visualize that by 2020 the consumer adaptation of electric cars will be as much as the conventional fuel car. But the technology for electric cars still needs to evolve and should be affordable by all.