No cable ties: wireless charging for EVs

Wireless charging

Wireless charging of electric vehicles is a technology that seems to have been just around the corner for ages. Lots of demonstrations and pledges from EV manufacturers and suppliers have not, yet, become options you can choose when you buy your plug-in car.

It turns out there’s a reason for the delays, as I found out when researching the topic for a feature in Automotive Testing Technology International. Car makers are keen to avoid a proliferation of competing technologies – as has been seen in cable-based rapid charging – so they’ve been waiting for standards that would allow compatibility between rival systems.

When wireless charging arrives as a factory fit option – perhaps as early as 2018 – buyers can be confident that their EV will be able to charge from any standards-compliant charging pad.

For the feature I interviewed engineers from technology providers Qualcomm and WiTricity, as well as the Idaho National Laboratory in the US where compatibility testing was carried out last summer.

Key quote
“What we saw was 95% super, great results, and the remaining 5% were not unexpected. And we know how to solve those issues now.”
Sebastian Mathar, senior engineer, Qualcomm