By on June 10, 2014

Electic_car_wireless_parking_charge_closeup

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.”

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57 Comments on “Vehicle Wireless Charging Market To Double Yearly Through 2020...”


  • avatar
    seth1065

    Not sure how much of a big deal this is, is putting the plug in the car such a hassle that people do not buy EV?

    • 0 avatar
      hazmat

      From cell phone experience with Qi vs. a plug, there is a convenience thing.

      However, the big advantage is for longevity of connectors.

      Sure, everything should be designed for thousands of connect-disconnect cycles but, in practice, mechnical & electrical links can wear out. Wireless charging doesn’t have that problem.

      The downside is that you just can’t get the same charge rate as with wired connections… bigger deal for car charging than for a phone.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        For a “real” thing, like a serious car charging system, it’s worthwhile to simply replace a broken connector, when it eventually wears out, and any good system will be designed for relatively easy replacement.

        Yes, anything mechanical can and eventually will wear out … but with any attention to build quality and design, an electrical connector capable of 10,000 cycles should be no big deal to produce (USB connectors are commonly so-rated, and I’ve never had a non-$2 Chinese Knockoff one fail).

        10,000 cycles is three times a day for ten years, more than enough for confidence in a car.

        (And the other downside beyond slower charging is that you’re paying for the power you use, not the power you get on the car side – it’s not just “slower”, it’s “less efficient”, which is why it’s slower.

        MagneCharge (per Wikipedia) claims up to 86% efficiency… but “wires” approach 100%.

        That’s nearly 1/6 of the power just being thrown out.)

    • 0 avatar
      FractureCritical

      the change isn’t significant enough to sway someone from gas to EV, but it is significant enough to sway someone from Brand X EV to Brand Y EV. If I were shopping for an EV, I’d want to have this feature rather than wrestle with a charge pod for the Volt in the rain at night.

      The real impetus to change to EV from gas will be when on-the-road charging goes mainstream.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        One thing that would sway me from one EV to another is not needing to buy any sort of charger.

        Tesla claims that their cars come with a cord that plugs into a standard 220V outlet. All that needs to be done is have an electrician run a 220V line into your garage on its own circuit, and that’s it. Other EVs claim that you need to buy a separate charger for a couple thousand dollars plus hiring the electrician to run the line.

        For comparison, if EV A has an induction charger for $3k, EV B has a regular wall & plug charger for $2k, and EV C has a 22V cord for $0, and if all else is the same, I’m picking EV C.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          The charger is actually part of the car, all the device that goes between the wall and the car (call it an EVSE) does is to provide handshaking before providing current. It’s a safety device rather than a charger, so I’m not sure why Tesla would want to do away with it. All EVs sold in the US come with a 120 volt EVSE, but most EV owners would want a 240 volt one. PHEVs can get by using 120 volt charging.
          Clipper Creek sells a 4.8 KW EVSE for $500-$550, and a 7.2 KW one goes for $650.

          • 0 avatar
            martinwinlow

            (I have been an EVer for the last 5 years and drive one very day).

            The whole EVSE thing has puzzled me greatly from the start. As you say , it is purely designed for ultimate safety – and also to prevent the user from disconnecting the power supply from the car whilst charging and therefore causing arcing at the connector contacts – scary, potentially dangerous and very bad for the longevity of the contacts.

            So, how to avoid having to spend $1-2k on an EVSE? Just make sure the charging has stopped (or stop it yourself) before you unplug! An ordinary 120 or 240V connection (wherever you are in the world) can do this – so why pay $2k for an EVSE? It’s not a magical box. It is just a big contactor with ground fault interrupt (disconnection) circuitry, and a very simple circuit to let the car tell the EVSE when it is happy to start and end a charge.

            A $40, weatherised (if necessary) wall socket can cover the safety angle, again if needed – most modern circuits have GFI built in to them anyway – or they do here in the UK anyway.

            As for the inductive charging idea, it is really the only practical way to provide street side charging in public as, ignoring all else, it is the only way to charge where it is effectively impossible for some half-wit to interfere with the charging. Any sort of cable can be cut or disconnected – instances of ‘EV-rage’ are all ready occurring with depressing regularity. If 90%+ efficiency can be obtained, they would probably suffice.

            Bear in mind these chargers would be installed most probably in car parking bays intended for relatively long term parking and therefore would be supplying no more than a ~1kW. So we are not talking about a lot of power. If you want a rapid charge then you’ll be using a cable – and a fat one at that – or another form of connected power such as an overhead gantry (for busses & trucks) etc where the process is much more likely to be supervised – most likely by the driver and so problems are much less likely to arise. MW

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Your complaint falls short on one specific; in most homes, the 220V outlet already resides in the garage–assuming the home HAS a garage. It’s called a dryer outlet. I don’t see where it would be that expensive to have an electrician add a second outlet beside the first.

          However, for a faster charge you don’t just want a 220V outlet, but one that allows a higher current flow–say 80Amps vs a 40Amp typical dryer circuit. This effectively doubles the rate of charge to the vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Most dryer circuits are 30 amp. The $500 EVSE I mentioned above requires a 30 amp circuit and can add 16 miles of range per hour. The 7.2 KW charging station can be hardwired into a 40 amp circuit or plugged into a 50 amp one, and will provided about 24 miles of range per hour. Unless someone drives around all morning, then comes home, then drives around all afternoon, either should be sufficient.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Another thing to think about is the car’s ability to accept a charge. The earlier LEAFs have a 3.3 kW charge rate, while the later ones have a 6.6 kW charge rate, so a 40 amp circuit is more than enough, and the 4.8 kW charger that runs on a 30 amp circuit would more meet the needs of any PHEV.

            Teslas can be equipped to handle two 40 amp chargers. Better check with an electrician before buying one, you may need to pull new service from the street, particularly if you home is older.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Your standard European 220 socket is what, 10 Amps? That’s 2.2 kW. It would take 27 hours to recharge a 60kW/h Tesla at that rate.

          That’s why you need a high amperage charger on a dedicated circuit.

          Chargers can be had for under $1000, but the cost of running a new circuit to your car will vary. You may already have a suitable unused circuit running to your garage (clothes drier, water heater, etc), or you may need to rip-out the walls and re-wire the house and the allotment.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I think you’re making a couple assumptions; we’re talking the standard AMERICAN 220V socket, which is more like 30 amps, not 10. That alone cuts your charging time to 9 hours–a typical night at home would give you a full charge.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Oh, and typically 440V is wired into the home and split into a number of 110v circuits and one or two 220V circuits (depending on type if water heater is in the home.)

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Vulpine,

            I assumed European 220, simply because redav stated the cost of the cord at $0.

            US (two phase) 220 circuits are usually 30-50 amps depending on their wiring gauge and intended use. The cost of wiring your parking spot can be minor (<$1000) or major depending on your house.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            ???

            What does European outlets have to do with Tesla’s power cord which is included with the car–hence zero cost–and is designed specifically to charge the car?

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      At home, it’s no issue at all. I can see where someone who charges somewhere outside of their garage would prefer this.

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    So lemme get this straight, there was a big push for electric cars b/c of their “efficiency” and now everyone’s excited b/c you can do away wtih the cord with no conversation about the $/CO2/kWh/etc costs!? I’m not mad at TTAC but I am disappointed that you’re not calling out AutoBlogGreen for not mentioning the inductive charging losses wich will eat away at the cost benefit of an electric car or conversly will produce extra CO2. I mean it is a “GREEN” blog site right!!! Add some TRUTH to the story besides just paraphrasing (and appropriatly linking to) the article.

    Analysis:
    Inductive charging isn’t 100% efficient (86%) so there will be some heat loss. Once the electricty is IN the car storing it in the battery isn’t 100% efficient either (77.5%). The Nissan Leaf gets 100mi/34kwh. A kWh in the US results in maybe 1.65lbs CO2 (+/-). So that’s: 1.65 lbs CO2/kWh * 34kWh/100mi ÷ .775 ÷.86 = .8417 lbs CO2/mi.

    A Nissan Altima gets a combined 31mpg. A gallon of gas results in 19.6 lbs CO2. 1gal/31mi * (19.6 lbs CO2/gal gas burnt + 2.45 lbs CO2 /gal gas refined) = .7113lbs CO2/mi.

    So on a mile per mile basis the a non-hybrid Altima yields emits less CO2 into the atmosphere than a Leaf?

    Note, I’m not counting the engery costs of mining/drilling for coal, oil, NG, or Nuclear Fuel refining. I’m also not counting the distribution costs of pumping and trucking gasoline around the country and I’m not sure if the power grid efficiency is buit into the EIA.gov numbers.

    Either way, where did I go wrong or where is the “environmental” benfit to driving the electric car?

    sources:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_charging
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf
    http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=8583
    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11 (est as (coal + NG)/2)
    http://www.edmunds.com/nissan/altima/2014/mpg.html
    http://www.afteroilev.com/Pub/CO2_Emissions_from_Refining_Gasoline.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      celebrity208

      Hell, are the government regulators demanding some CAFE equivalent on chargers!? Are inductive car chargers going to have to be EnergyStar rated?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> A Nissan Altima gets a combined 31mpg.

      I rented one once and in heavy, heavy traffic, I was getting I think about 13 mg if I recall correctly. The problem with using EPA ratings is that they aren’t reality in the heavy traffic we have in cities. Furthermore, the lbs of CO2 emitted per Kwh varies throughout the country. If most of my power is coming from nuclear and hydro, then the number is less.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      What’s the cost per mile? That’s all I care about.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Not to squash your argument, but can you show us where you got that figure of, “A kWh in the US results in maybe 1.65lbs CO2 (+/-)? That seems excessively high, by a minimum factor of 10, but I’m not certain. None of your references supplied break down CO2 emissions by kWh at power plants.

      You also need to note that where renewable energy sources are used–hydroelectric, wind, solar–the figure is effectively ZERO CO2 generated per kWh.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >> show us where you got that figure…

        I checked the EPA and with 2010 data, it’s 1.232 lbs/kwh nationally and for my region, New England, it’s .722. We’re probably lower since a local coal plant just switched to natural gas.

        http://oaspub.epa.gov/powpro/ept_pack.charts

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Ok, that makes sense–for 2010 data. I know of a number of coal plants that have been shut down since then and have recently re-opened with new scrubbers in the stacks. Remember, new laws are coming out all the time to help trap ALL pollutants, not just CO2. That said, the plant still puts out far less CO2 than individual engines combined to the same KWH output.

          • 0 avatar
            celebrity208

            1.65 ~ 2.05/2 (assuming coal makes 50% of your power) + 1.22/2 (assuming NG makes up the remaining)
            2.05 & 1.22 from: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=74&t=11

            However, per http://oaspub.epa.gov/powpro/ept_pack.charts#result
            in my zip code (22304) if I enter 1000kWh it says that results in 13,638 lbs CO2! Woah. Thats 13.638lbs CO2/kWh! Way more than my 1.65lbs/kWh estimate.

            Am I doing something wrong here?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Where I live that site says I’m a bit Nuke heavy–40% vs 35% coal and about 20% natural gas.

            Reads at 1002 pounds per megawatt CO2 or 1.002 pounds per kilowatt.

            I think you misread your chart because you’re even more heavily nuclear (and coal as well) while only 12% natural gas. and I read you at 1074 pounds per megawatt.
            Your mistake may have been in claiming you use 1000kwh (1 megaWatthour) when you probably use far, far less. Or are you running a factory? If it’s your home, you’re probably only using about 2-5kWh per month.
            You were also getting the annual CO2 output on that overzealous usage rate.

          • 0 avatar
            celebrity208

            I’m not really using 1000kWh/mo. It’s just a big number to drive out more significant digits from their calcualtor. My first post was just coarse numbers and I should have used 50% coal and 25% NG & 25% nuclear. Even then the number would have been 1.33lbs/kWh. That number kinda jives with teh 13.638 assuming theres an order of magnitude error in there somewhere. So I’ll go with the 1.33lbs/kWh. That number yields .68lbs CO2/mi. Now it’s slightly less than the Altima but the my point, although less dramatic, is that the CO2 savings aren’t significan’t when you start eating into the system efficiencies with wireless chargers.

  • avatar

    I’ll take testicular cancer with my full charge…

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I was thinking the same thing. Just recently they were worried about tumors from cellular radiation. I can’t imagine how much radiation comes from this kind of setup.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Radiation? Not much.

        A magnetic field? A fair bit.

        That said, there’s not much science, and even less good science, supporting the idea that anything other than ionizing radiation (if we’re talking non-chemical and non-biological triggers) causes cancer. For the record, cellphones are non-ionizing; they’re longer-wavelength and lower energy than visible light, let alone X- or gamma radiation).

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Yup. Inductive charging is – compared to wires – inefficient and thus slower – but it’s *not* a cancer risk.

          “Radiation” is a meaningless term in this context.

          Your body is emitting “radiation” right now, and it’s irrelevant.

          The EM of what’s effectively a maybe 6kw transformer with an air gap between the coils (one in the ground, one in the car) is *completely irrelevant* to health risks.

          You’re essentially telling me you’re scared of electromagnetism.

          • 0 avatar

            None of you can PROVE that there is no chance electromagnetic fields can’t excite ions in the human body.

            There are studies being conducted to determine whether or not ultrasound could possibly give babies autism.

            The truth is: there isn’t enough experimentation yet.

            Never said anything about ionizing radiation.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “None of you can PROVE that there is no chance electromagnetic fields can’t excite ions in the human body.”
            –There’s a difference between “exciting ions” and causing tumors/cancer. You can’t PROVE, as yet, that electromagnetic fields DO cause cancer/tumors. Did you know that an airplane’s targeting radar can kill–if left aimed at an individual long enough? Did you know that radar was originally designed to be a “death ray”? Strangely, it simply couldn’t work fast enough to be an effective weapon of war.

            “There are studies being conducted to determine whether or not ultrasound could possibly give babies autism.”
            –There were autistic children long before ultrasound. How do you explain them?

            “The truth is: there isn’t enough experimentation yet.”
            You have to know what you’re looking for before you can experiment. And I really doubt any human is going to volunteer to be intentionally irradiated with a thousands of times signal at cellular frequencies just to get a reading on whether or not it causes cancer. In fact, their brains would be cooked long before any cancer cells could develop.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    celebrity:
    As an EE myself, I can fully vouch for the inductive charging losses.

    To have efficient power transfer tight magnetic coupling is a must. Air is not an efficient magnetic coupler. any mis-alignment of the charger vs the vehicle pod

    Additionally the power electronics required to convert the energy to a high frequency (on the charger side) plus the coupler and rectifier losses in the vehicle side add to further power loss.

    As a fact, I think that 86% efficiency for the charger is optimistic

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Are there ways to improve alignment & coupling? Would giving the in-ground charger the ability to float around a bit (to line up with the car) help, and how much? And if it has moving parts, could coupling be improved with a device that raises up, possibly making contact with the bottom of the car? After all, what matters is not that it’s wireless, but that it’s automatic and does not interfere with the driver’s routine.

    • 0 avatar
      FractureCritical

      see, there you go, thinking like an engineer. Stop it now before it cripples you for life.
      No one will give a flying f*@& about the efficiency loss. You’re telling me I gotta pay 25%-30% more on my (very)cheap recahrge to keep going without stopping? which (in the future) may take 20 minutes out of my (VERy) busy life? They’ll pay the premium without even thinking twice.

      Car ownership and operation has nothing to do with trivalities such as efficiency. If it were, the NJ Turnpike would be an endless sea of Honda Fits instead of E Class and 5 series.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Why don’t we make electric cars like, good or, you know, popular before we start messing with wireless charging.

    When you are doing something wirelessly, there’s always waste (and usually some loss of speed) due to the transfer. EV’s already charge slowly and use enough outlet charge. We don’t need to subtract a cord and add slowness and waste. As well, it’s sure to add weight, as you’re lugging around the transfer “box” all the time, rather than plugging in a separate cord.

    This is answering a question which nobody has asked.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Electric cars are nothing new (over 100 years old).
      Inductive charging is nothing new (my toothbrush uses it!).

      Should everyone just wait around for you to give the OK before they can combine these two technologies? Can they call you at home? What about if you’re on vacation?

      You should make a list of which common technologies you don’t want combined until you’ve given the go-ahead.

      “Everybody, Corey’s OK with a touch screen on the microwave, but it’s still a no-go for the dishwasher.”

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Just because two technologies exist separately does not make them automatically good together. We have touch screen tech, doesn’t need to be combined with an electric toothbrush. Did I say everyone should wait for me? Can you point me to that?

        Would you like to make a valid point somewhere, or just rant a bit longer?

        It was an opinion, which is 98% of the content on this site. But it is fact that electric vehicles are -not- great as they stand, and are -not- used by most people. Thus creating a new-gee-whiz way to charge them seems pretty irrelevant.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          My point is they are two established technologies that have been developed separately. There’s no good reason to hold-off on one (inductive charging) because you feel that the second isn’t quite ready.

          Contact-less transfer of electricity was gee-wiz back when the original Tesla (Nikola) was around, but isn’t anymore. As I stated, you will find this technology in many electric toothbrushes.

          The fact that it’s not 100% efficient is neither here nor there. Having windows on your house isn’t efficient. Soundproofing cars isn’t efficient. People will gladly pay for both, and they may choose to pay for induction charging. Time will tell.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “My point is they are two established technologies that have been developed separately.”
            — True.

            “There’s no good reason to hold-off on one (inductive charging) because you feel that the second isn’t quite ready.”
            –False. Inductive charging is effectively useless beyond a very minimal distance. In as little as 5 millimeters distance, the available power transfer can be cut in half–meaning if the recharging point is sending 220v power, the receiver is reading only 110v. Sure, a larger coil might do better, but the simple point is that at a mere 5 inches of distance, the vehicle is receiving only about 10% of the transmitted power.

            “Contact-less transfer of electricity was gee-wiz back when the original Tesla (Nikola) was around, but isn’t anymore.”
            –Yes it is, because Nikola Tesla FAILED to make it work, though the general theory is still valid. He never figured out how to tame lightning over a distance of about 50 feet or so and even that used HUGE amounts of power to generate. You look at your wireless charger today and your devices are effectively touching. While I agree there’s no polarized metal-to-metal contact, you still have to have the receiving device *in contact* with the charger base.

            “As I stated, you will find this technology in many electric toothbrushes.”
            –Maybe you should take a closer look at that charger base on the electric toothbrush. Invariably it requires the toothbrush handle to rest in a specific holder at a specific angle so that the coils are in near-perfect alignment. To address your earlier statement of, “it ain’t rocket science”, well Heavy, it is.

            ” The fact that it’s not 100% efficient is neither here nor there.”
            –It is when that efficiency falls well below that of even gasoline engines–which are only 30% efficient or so. As I stated before, if you’re not exactly lined up and almost literally in contact with the sending coils, efficiency can be 10% or less. Even you’re not that good of a driver that you can position your car exactly over that coil without some form of visible guide.

            “Having windows on your house isn’t efficient.”
            –Irrelevant.
            “Soundproofing cars isn’t efficient.”
            –Irrelevant.

            “People will gladly pay for both, and they may choose to pay for induction charging.”
            –They may, until they discover that it is no faster and almost certainly massively slower than plugging in a cable.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        More like ‘Heavy Handed” with that kind of response, man. A little logic points out that inductive charging is incredibly wasteful when compared to direct-contact charging.

  • avatar
    lowsodium

    Still a play toy for the rich, and will continue to be for awhile.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      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.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Given a known parking spot, none of these issues are insurmountable, or even very difficult. Remember, these are electric cars with (for instance) electric power steering. Parking on top of a designated spot wouldn’t be rocket science.

      I mean that literally, by the way. It would not be as hard as hitting a moving target with a rocket-propelled projectile.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Or, you could – like – plug it in. There is literally no reason to complicate charging electric cars any further.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Actually, you’re wrong. Even a half-inch off of dead center could significantly disrupt the inductive path. Quite literally, it is Electrical Science, which is even involved in Rocket Science.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Many ways around that issue. Low tech: put the charger on a Roomba and lets it loose. Higher tech: high-end induction stove tops use reconfigurable coils that send power only where you put a pot. That could put the tolerance well within what you can achieve with a self-parking car.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The Roomba idea isn’t exactly low-tech. The inductive stove top even less so. In both cases you ignore the physical distance between the charger and the vehicle’s receiving coil–which for safety’s sake needs to be rigidly mounted to the vehicle with no moving parts. That is, UNLESS you want to make it like R2D2 where the car extends a probe–at which point you might as well let it be a true electrical connection and ignore the inductive losses.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Vulpine,

            I appreciate your concerns, but I still think that they represent resolvable engineering issues.

            Induction charging is already being used on some buses in Braunschweig Germany, and companies are claiming >90% efficiency with products aimed at the home market (see http://www.brusa.biz/index.php?id=55&L=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=233 ).

            Brusa is using a large floor plate and a small receiving plate attached to the car. The floor plate looks large enough that you wouldn’t miss it in a standard parking spot.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Resolvable, yes, but nowhere near as simple as you implied–and every engineering change will increase cost to the point that you might as well simply plug it in to save money. A lot of people even now will park miles away and take the train rather than pay for parking and people paying for a parking garage spot aren’t likely to want to pay more just because their spot has a charger. For that matter, you can almost guarantee that one of those charger-equipped spots will be taken by a non-EV if it’s closer to the elevator than a conventional spot (just look at how people blatantly ignore the law for handicapped spots).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            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.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    “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.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “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.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    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.

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