Why wireless vehicle charging makes sense for smart cities

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Image of proposed wireless charging stations

Investments we make today in urban EV infrastructure must take into account future requirements for ride sharing, transit and utilities

 

As the world’s population grows increasingly urban — it’s expected that by 2050, 70 per cent of individuals will live in urban areas — it’s critical for these regions to have the infrastructure in place to support quick, convenient and electric mobility. From autonomous vehicles, to electric urban transit, to effective energy management by utilities, successful deployment depends on cities investing in the proper accompanying charging infrastructure. To that end, there’s a good case to be made that investing in wireless charging is critical for the prosperity of urban areas.

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Hands-free wireless electric vehicle charging for the 21st Century

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In yet another sign that electric vehicles are a more sustainable solution for 21st century personal mobility than gas mobiles, researchers have propelled electricity through 11 inches of thin air, from an in-ground charging system all the way up into the waiting battery pack of a hybrid electric UPS truck, all without using their hands. What, they couldn’t try this on a Tesla?

“Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated on Feb. 27 a 20-kilowatt, bi-directional wireless charging system on a medium-class hybrid electric delivery truck” by Brittany Cramer/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Dept. of Energy.

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Era of wireless charging for electric vehicles is coming

 

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Wireless charging for electric vehicles is today’s most cutting-edge technology. Why? It is the most efficient, futuristic, scalable–in short–awesome alternative we have to gasoline. While tech giants such as Uber are placing their bets on autonomous cars, major key players such as Jaguar Land Rover are mass-producing electric cars. What’s more, Fordis releasing fully-electric SUV and other market players are on the verge of joining the trend.

The more electric cars roam around the city, the more will be the demand for wireless charging. The global wireless electric vehicle charging market is expected to reach $1.48 billion by 2025, growing at a colossal CAGR of 21.8% from 2018 to 2025.This rapid growth is due to rise in sales of electric vehicles and increase in demand for energy-efficient sources as an alternative fuel.

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BMW brings wireless charging to the US

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Because plugging in an electric vehicle is a hassle.

BMW first announced its wireless charging pilot program back in 2017. It works with BMW 530e plug-in hybrid models and the pilot program is helping people test the ability to charge the cars using magnetic induction. The system works in much the same way as we use induction charging for cell phones, except the charging pad is bigger. Parking over the pad starts the charging process automatically and the driver doesn’t have to do anything more. We knew the technology would make it to the US eventually, and now BMW has announced it’s testing it here through a pilot program.

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China’s built a road so smart it will be able to charge your car

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The road of the future is likely to become the brain and nerve center of an autonomous-driving revolution.

The road to China’s autonomous-driving future is paved with solar panels, mapping sensors and electric-battery rechargers as the nation tests an “intelligent highway” that could speed the transformation of the global transportation industry.

The technologies will be embedded underneath transparent concrete used to build a 1,080-meter-long (3,540-foot-long) stretch of road in the eastern city of Jinan. About 45,000 vehicles barrel over the section every day, and the solar panels inside generate enough electricity to power highway lights and 800 homes, according to builder Qilu Transportation Development Group Co.

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Disney creates room that can wirelessly charge hundreds of devices

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Wireless charging was all the rage in smartphones a few years ago, but most device makers have backed off on the technology. Many phones simply charge super-fast via a cable now. The wireless charging fatigue is due in part to the range limitation of the technology. True wireless power is still a no-go in consumer technology, but Disney Research has developed a version that might work in the future. Its volumetric wireless power system can keep hundreds of devices powered with no wires whatsoever. The main drawback: you have to live in a metal box.

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