Vehicle Wireless Charging Market To Double Yearly Through 2020

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
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vehicle wireless charging market to double yearly through 2020

For owners of PHEVs and EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, the prospect of putting away the cord for wireless induction charging grows with each passing year, doubling per year toward the next decade.

Autoblog Green reports research firm Frost & Sullivan forecasts the wireless market will experience a compound growth of 126.6 percent between 2012 and 2020, resulting in nearly 352,000 units sold around the globe. Usage of the technology is expected to be at 1.2 percent of public and private charging in North America, 2.6 percent of the same in Europe — where adoption will be at its most rapid — while 70 percent of overall wireless charging will likely be in the home.

As for who all is throwing their support behind the technology, the firm says Renault, Nissan, Daimler, Volvo, BMW and Toyota are working on chargers for their upcoming EVs, with an additional 10 automakers entering the testing phase. The current obstacles for greater adoption include charging time, charging rates and production costs.

Finally, Frost & Sullivan expect on-the-road wireless charging will arrive in the next decade while stationary offerings “will be most sought after in the near-term.”

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Jun 10, 2014

    Wireless is such a nice catch-words these days. Everything is going wireless nowadays. And though certain things do make a lot of sense (a wireless home network is a heaven-send for older home users), others do not. Power transmission is one of them. But you are correct, we are thinking as engineers, not as savvy marketers looking to sell high cost toys with obscene profit margins.

    • Sigivald Sigivald on Jun 10, 2014

      Depends. I tend to agree, but ... remember that we're not talking Tesla (Nikola) pipe dreams of "beaming energy to the whole world". We're talking short-range stationary inductive coupling, which is a tried-and-true technology, and not even one new to EV charging. I'm willing to take the MagneCharge "86% efficiency" claims at face value; seems plausible enough for a "park it over the coil" system. Maybe somebody values that a lot more than "plug it in"; for them it works fine.

  • Vulpine Vulpine on Jun 10, 2014

    I am opposed for one very simple reason: It is a huge waste of electricity. Induction comes with greater and greater losses the farther apart the coils grow. Just as an example, time how long it takes your smart phone to charge when lying ON the induction pad, then set it up one simple inch on a plastic or cardboard box and time how long it takes to charge then. With the example shown above, there would be a minimum of six inches between charging plate and receptor coil and an even larger gap should you choose a pickup truck or off-road vehicle. Why do I say it's a waste of energy? Because the charger coil is putting out the exact same amount of energy no matter how far away the receiving coil is placed, meaning that any reduction in charging rate is wasted as an ordinary electromagnetic field. Worse, said charging plate would likely become a junk collector, picking up nails and screws and other ferric objects within a couple feet of the plate. Any such object carried by wind, water or even simply lying loose inside the nose or tail fascia could be pulled to the plate and ultimately affect its efficiency. The only way to minimize the above? The plate should be turned off under all circumstances UNTIL it detects a receiver plate above it, then rise up to contact that receiver plate, allowing for the most efficient transfer of energy while minimizing the risk of trash metal disrupting the magnetic fields. Of course, then you have the cost of the automating systems at each charging point.

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    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jun 11, 2014

      @heavy handle By the way, Heavy, the trucks under discussion at the site you mention use twin 120kWh batteries at 400V and the double-speed charging literally uses two separate charger modules in the trucks--one for each battery. This isn't too different from the Tesla cars themselves, though with 50% more capacity per battery and about 50% less range overall. But we're talking about the chargers. One of the things I noted in my perusal is that the wireless charger stations work at 600volts, which means we're losing 30% of the voltage through the air gap. This really implies a higher loss than they claim (only 10%). What I don't know is whether they're running higher voltage at lower amperage on the ground and using the coils in the truck to get more amps at lower voltage. Transformers do work that way and it is possible that the losses may be minimized in that manner. On the other hand, that makes the charging points more risky in general public locations as it wouldn't be THAT hard to get an arc to devices buried in your pocket. You'll still need control circuitry to ensure the plates aren't activated by anything other than a charging coil equipped vehicle. And as for one person's thought of having the charging circuit under a highway so you can charge on the fly--I expect the cost of installing the system would only be marginally less than installing the solar cell highway. It would be interesting to bring THOSE two technologies together, but at the same time I don't think they could offer enough voltage to drive a charging circuit. On the other hand, installing high-strength permanent magnets in the roadbed and a long charging coil on the bottom of the vehicle could have the motion of the vehicle itself act as the charger--extending range without using any additional energy. A system like that would work best on the freeways, where the average speed of traffic would offer the most efficient transfer of energy. Of course, the cars themselves would need to lose a lot of their steel so they wouldn't be adversely affected during lane changes or pulled down on their suspensions.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 10, 2014

    "Throwing there weight behind this technology". I don't know why this is such a big deal. Using inductance as a form of charging has been around for a very long time. How did the coil in old fashion cars from the 70s work. The collapsing of the electrical energy through a primary coil creating a higher electrical charge in the secondary winding. Like a rechargeable electric toothbrush. But, like all EV stuff, how much is the taxpayer subsidising this waste? We'd be better off using existing technology first that's cheaper rather than trying to create a new un-needed market. If a market truly existed this stuff would be here now. It's been around for over a century, even electric cars.

    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jun 11, 2014

      "How did the coil in old fashion cars from the 70s work." -- As a transformer. Its sole purpose was to ramp up the 12 volt alternator power to several hundred volts; enough to generate a spark across an air gap in the spark plug. Not at all like an electric toothbrush, though certain operating principles are similar. The coil in your car was like the transformer used to run your 220v electrical gear on 110v outlets, or vice-versa.

  • FJ60LandCruiser FJ60LandCruiser on Jun 11, 2014

    Like with electrical car plugs in public areas, all of these things should have a stand where you swipe your credit card where the owner of the electrical vehicle pays for the electricity, the cost of purchasing and maintaining the charging hardware, and any necessary costs of actually securing a special "green" parking spot. None of this trash should be funded with public money, and if the revenues from these stations aren't enough to keep them running, shut them down and gut them. I figure 10-20 bucks for use of the station is a good place to start.