The automobile sector has been developing at breathtaking speed in recent years; so much so that wireless electric-car charging is now a possibility. Vehicles of this type are set to take to our roads in droves in coming years, so the search for simpler, more convenient battery-recharging technology is one of the sector’s top research priorities.
The implications of electric-car charging
Although many households have now taken up electric cars, their batteries are one of the main put-offs. At the moment there is a shortfall of well-distributed recharging points and some vehicles cannot even be charged at home. The solution to this problem could be a wireless charging system, enabling the batteries to be topped up with high voltage without needing to be plugged in.
Innumerable companies, car brands and engineers have been busy looking into this matter. The search is on for new, alternative materials that make the batteries much easier to use.
How wireless battery charging works
To facilitate wireless charging the vehicle underbody has to be fitted with a large antenna that needs to line up with another one fitted in the floor; the two antennae are then connected by radiofrequency identification technology (RFID).
Some brands like BMW and Mercedes have devised an inductive charging pad that charges the battery when the car is simply parked above it. The pad connects up the two components in a single electromagnetic field, allowing the car to be totally topped up in 3-and-a-half hours. This system, which can be purchased individually, works both indoors and outdoors.
This offers huge advantages; no longer does the electric-car user have to look for a plugging point to be connected up manually. This is only the first step towards dynamic wireless charging; in a few years it will be possible for the battery to be topped up while the vehicle is actually being driven along.
Wireless electric-car charging, greatly facilitating the charging process and the convenience of vehicle use, is therefore already with us. There is no doubt that progress in this sector is now being made in giant strides. Sales of these ecofriendly vehicles, emitting no toxic gases, are therefore bound to soar in comparison with the more pollutive traditional cars.
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The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV