Innovative fast inductive charging

solution for electric vehicles

Innovative fast inductive charging
solution for electric vehicles

Research Progress - Information for automotive companies

Next generation of transportation is expected to be based on hybrid and electric vehicles due in particular to the increasing price of fossil fuels and consequent environmental concerns caused by their usage. One of the main causes of small scale penetration of electric-based powertrain architectures is the unavailability of charging infrastructure. Wireless charging of electric vehicles is being considered as a key technology for magnifying the existing plug-in charging infrastructure1. Wireless charging is less efficient in comparison to plug-in charging and it is expected to be expensive initially; but it should provide additional value in terms of user comfort and elimination of electric shock vulnerability. Wireless charging in private passenger vehicles is on the verge of commercialization. Some companies are going to commercialize their wireless charging technologies for specific application sectors in transportation. Public technology demonstration of wireless charging is already taking place in several parts of the world in order to increase end-user awareness regarding safety and reliability of the technology. Wireless power transfer has the potential to be successfully implemented in automotive and can be successfully implemented in automated guided vehicles, mobile and service robots and associated material handling systems in the industrial automation sector.

Conductix-Wampfler2 has commercialized inductive wireless charging in the industrial automation sector and it has been demonstrating, for about 11 years, how well inductive charging can charge batteries in the context of local public transport: about 30 electric buses, in Genoa and Turin, have been using the company’s IPT® technology since 2002. The Italian public transport companies AMT and GTT deem the technology success. The buses in Turin reliably travel 200 kilometers a day without needing to stop anywhere for a prolonged period or having to return to the depot for charging. The adoption of the IPT® Charge allows the reduction of the battery capacity by as much as 75% with a positive impact on the purchase price and weight of the vehicles. The buses can be charged with 60 kW or 120 kW at bus stops while passengers embark and disembark. While charging, the collecting coil on the bus takes up a position about 40 mm from the charging coil in the ground, facilitating an extremely efficient transfer (95 %).

Several key players such as Siemens, Vahle Inc, Delphi, Witricity and Evatran are developing wireless charging and/or wireless charging technologies. Automobile manufacturers such as Nissan and GM are developing suitable wireless charging technologies to be integrated into their electric vehicles. Companies involved in development of wireless charging technology are collaborating with or acquire other companies in the same domain to gain technical expertise and tackle. Example includes agreement3 with Evatran Group announced by Bosch Automotive Service for the distribution and installation of aftermarket Plugless Level-2 Electric Vehicle Charging System.

Besides the main industrial application, there is a strong commitment on wireless charging from the public funded research, resulting in several projects all over the world, covering different aspects of the wireless charging technology, involving prominent industrial and research players. The FastInCharge project is growing up in this very context, contributing to improve the opinion and awareness of this technology. Standardization efforts are ongoing at national and international level, involving suppliers and OEMs for harmonizing the existing solutions in order to get a common set of rules for EV wireless charging, in terms of hardware constraints and communication protocols; the potential outcome of this work could foster the adoption of this technology and improve the market conditions for suppliers, OEMs and final users.

The use of wireless charging in dynamic state of motion can ensure better mobility. Successful research has been done and prototypes have been developed. Modified inductive power transfer lanes are being developed around the world and already operational in country like South Korea where the car would not have to remain stationary while its battery is getting charged. Instead, it can just drive over a particular lane energized by power transmitting equipment and get the battery charged by contactless charging at the same time.

1 'Wireless Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (Technical Insights)' – D2EA-TI , January 2012, Frost & Sullivan
2 '10 years of electric buses with IPT Charge ' '’ – Press 31/05/2012 Conductix-Wampler
3 'Bosch to offer Evatran Plugless EV Charging systems'- Green Car Congress – Press 10/06/2013 - '

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