While electric vehicles are increasing in popularity, not everyone is convinced to make the switch.
However, companies such as BMW, Tesla, WiTricity, Qualcomm, and other automakers are starting to produce tech that will allow for both electric and hybrid vehicles to use a wireless charging system.
While it is easy to plug in a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, it does require the use of a power dock.
Some consumers are put off by this tech as it requires spending far more time off-road in comparison to a non-electric vehicle.
The introduction of this wireless charging could encourage a wider range of people to consider the electric way of driving.
We will be discussing how these new types of wireless systems that have been developed in the last year or so can completely change the face of plug-in and hybrid charging.
Wireless Charging Electric Cars
Wireless charging is something that is currently being explored and created by automakers, and companies such as Qualcomm, and Witricity.
These companies are leading the automotive world in the right direction. These new types of charging systems will hopefully help to get more consumers interested in this type of transport.
Instead of needing a lead for your plug-in hybrid or electric car, this is done wirelessly. This concept was first introduced to the Formula E world.
In 2018, BMW used wireless charging to charge their safety car and it took charging to the next level.
As this technology is still being created there is no one standard and every company is producing their power system differently.
Even though it is becoming increasingly researched, there is not currently a right way of introducing this technology.
Can you wirelessly charge a Tesla?
Tesla is a leading company in electric cars. They have produced a wide range of different Evs in the last decade and are consistently creating new ways to make the charging devices for their vehicles much easier to use.
No, the vast majority of Tesla's models do not have wireless charging. However, their Model S does feature this technology.
This new and innovative design draws electric power from a wireless parking pad. The power is transferred using magnetic energy that is then turned into electrical energy.
There are no wires needed, and charging pads get to work as soon as the driver parks on top of it. This is one of the first models on the market to feature this type of receiver, and it does seem to work well.
As EVs are increasing in popularity, likely, Tesla will not be the only company to release a wireless charging range.
What Is Inductive Charging?
Inductive charging is not a new concept, this type of tech has been around for around a century. Even though inductive charging is not a new concept, it is now being used more than ever, especially at home.
Inductive charging works by using a magnetic field that produces a current, which is then transferred into electricity to charge the device. The magnetic field is created by the copper coils within the charging pad.
The type of charging is used by many things, such as toothbrushes, phones, kitchen appliances, laptops, and now, even cars.
It was made popular by one company, in particular, WiTricity.
WiTricity has used this type of power transfer from the charging pad on a larger scale for electric cars.
The Advantages of Wirelessly Charging An Electric Car
There are many advantages that you can link to wireless charging. While plug-in hybrids and EVs are great, there are limitations to the charging process.
Lack of Wires
A major advantage of this technology is the lack of wires.
This allows the charging process to be far quicker as you do not need to worry about exiting the car to place it on charge, or making sure you leave home with the wire.
Damage To Wires
While the wires are durable, there is always a risk that they get damaged accidentally or wear over time. These wires are typically quite costly to replace.
If you are charging EVs in adverse weather conditions, over time this can cause damage to the wire, especially as it can get repeatedly wet.
The wire may become dirty and could require cleaning and maintenance every so often which is time-consuming.
Like with anything you purchase, you will want your EV to be convenient.
With this wireless technology the user would not have to worry about taking the time to ensure the car is being charged with the wires correctly.
The wireless power transfer allows the user to charge the vehicle instantaneously, with no issues.
If wireless charging advances enough in the future that the vehicle can be charged when the car is in motion, this will be very convenient.
The next advantage of wireless charging is time-saving. The market will likely see an increase in the sale of EVs if charging on the go is introduced.
This advancement would take away the reservations that many people have about having to wait for their EV to charge.
Depending on the type of technology that is created, wireless charging may take away the need for charging stations if this can be done at home or on the go. If this technology is created, this will be revolutionary.
Having a wireless charging system can potentially reduce the size of the battery that is used within the vehicle.
It has been said that this will enable the battery of the car to be a lot smaller and lighter. These two specifications are significant as this will likely lower the overall costs.
The batteries that are currently used in electric vehicles are particularly large. This is to ensure that they carry enough power for the car to drive for a few hundred miles.
However, if the car can be charged quickly, without the need for wires and charging points, the battery is not required to be as large.
When Will Wireless Charging Be available?
In October 2020, The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) planned to have one global standard for electric car chargers. These standards will allow much simpler access to wireless charging.
2022. It is said that the use of wireless chargers featuring magnetic coils will begin to be rolled out in 2022.
While this type of car charging is still mainly in the creative stages, there have recently been some advancements in this technology.
However, given that there needs to be a standard for all car charging and international standards, this is something that is still going to take some time to become a reality.
The Society of Automotive Engineers is looking into creating standard charging systems across all of the different manufacturing companies.
Why is wireless charging bad?
With any type of new technology, there are concerns over whether it is bad. There have been issues brought up surrounding how successful this charging will be. There have also been a number of safety concerns mentioned.
Wireless charging is not bad. While people have some issues surrounding how well it will work, it is food technology overall. If it is used correctly it will change the way that electric vehicles operate.
Like with anything new, there are certainly going to be teething issues regarding this technology. These issues could revolve around the energy that is lost when the car is being charged wirelessly, in comparison to with a wire. There are some concerns that this technology may not work as successfully.
In addition to this, this technology would need to be integrated with the two types of vehicles: the EVs and plug-in hybrid.
There are also concerns that there may be potential health effects surrounding wireless charging. The implications of a person sitting in the car and the magnetic field are something that needs to be tested and explored in more detail before this technology is rolled out to the public.
When looking at Formula E, and the future technology used by the likes of BMW, and Tesla, this system seems to be a great and future-proof way to charge an EV.
These two companies are creating some fantastic wireless alternatives.
If this charging can take place safely and universally, it could potentially completely change the car industry for the better.
Last year, in 2020, the research process into this type of car charging increased significantly and now this type of charging has begun to be rolled out to consumers.
If the wireless power transfer can be used while the car is in motion this will likely appeal to many as it takes away the need to park up and wait for your vehicle to charge.
The advantages of wireless charging are great. Not only is it time-saving and eradicates the need for wires, but in the future, it could also lower the overall cost of EVs.
Overall, the advantages of wireless charging far outweigh the negatives.
However, without the reassurance that this technology is safe and effective, consumers may be dubious about the advantages of wireless charging.
Given this, when the SAE rolls out a standard for this, it will likely gain traction.