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Is EV’s Future Wireless?

Marking a significant stride in the evolution of EV charging technology, discover the future of electric vehicles with a glimpse into America’s first inductive-charging road.

 

By Marc Remmert

Inductive Charging

America’s first stretch of inductive-charging road just opened in Detroit. While it’s only a quarter of a mile long, its promise of wireless EV charging offers an exciting look at the potential of EV technology. It’s the first step towards a future where the electric vehicles we drive will be capable of charging while driving down the road or stopped at lights, pickup points, and other natural-use locations for vehicles. For an electrical engineer like me, this feels like the EV future we should be working toward. As an electrical engineer, it’s exciting to begin to see a technology that has existed for over a century begin to make its way to widespread commercial use.

Wireless charging is nothing new. In fact, the 1890s were a particularly fruitful time of electrical exploration, which yielded proofs of the ability to charge wirelessly and even a patent to charge an electric vehicle by means of induction. Today, low power applications are ubiquitous, think of your wireless smart phone charger at home, as a great example of this. The same concept applies to inductive EV charging. Coils are installed in the road, when a receiver (on a vehicle) is detected, electrical current is passed through the coil, generating a magnetic field the car’s receiver picks up and translates back to energy it can store in its onboard battery for future use.

While this is a very small initial step, it’s exciting, nonetheless. On this and other small projects, electrical engineers and technology providers will be able to work out inductive charging kinks on a smaller scale and then expand the service as the application of materials science, vehicle manufacturing, and transportation design criteria develop.

No doubt, applying this technology in scale will take time and require engineers and technology companies to overcome many technical challenges. There will also be political and funding challenges as the federal and state governments try to figure out how to pay for necessary infrastructure, payment of electricity use, and the monetization of charging.

Still, witnessing this first step in the U.S. is extremely satisfying. While it’s still early days for the widespread implementation of this technology, this is an important first step in innovating our way toward an electric future.

Let the EV experts at WGI help you plan for the future of EV charging. Contact us today!

Talk To Our Leaders

Marc Remmert

Director, MEP Engineering

512.669.5560

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