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Under-Road Wireless Charging for EVs to Be Tested in UK

Posted December 02, 2015 7:04 AM by Jordan Perch

Wireless charging technology is being developed by many automakers trying to come up with a better charging solution for electric vehicles, as it offers several advantages over the conductive method which employs a charging cable. For one thing, it's much more convenient, as it doesn't require the driver to get out of the car to plug the car into a charging station, which could be especially helpful during rainy or snowy days. Furthermore, inductive charging allows for more diverse vehicle-to-grid applications, and finally, it addresses the range anxiety issue, as it has the potential to recharge electric vehicles as they drive.


The above-mentioned benefits of wireless charging for electric cars have prompted the UK government to look into the technical feasibility of this charging method, which it intends to start testing later this year. Highways England, the government-owned company that manages England's highway network, has announced that it will launch trials for under-road wireless charging technology, installing a system in select roads that will allow electric cars to recharge their batteries as they drive. The trials are slated to begin towards the end of the year and are expected to run for 18 months.


The technology will first be tested on private roads, and on public highways later on. It involves equipment being embedded into the surface of the road, which will transmit electricity to hybrid and all-electric vehicles that are equipped with wireless charging technology. Highways England has already conducted a feasibility study to see what needs to be done to fit EVs with this special technology that would allow them to recharge inductively and whether the UK highway network is suitable for the installation of wireless charging technology.


"The potential to recharge low emission vehicles on the move offers exciting possibilities. The government is already committing 500 million pounds (around $780 million) over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology, which will help boost jobs and growth in the sector. As this study shows, we continue to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses", said Transport Minister Andrew Jones in a press release.


This technology has a huge potential for eliminating one of the biggest hurdles currently faced by electric vehicles. The issue of range anxiety represents a major obstacle that has been holding back electric-car sales both in Europe and the United States, with publicly available charging points being vastly outnumbered by gas stations in most countries, and with most electric cars having trouble traveling more than 100 miles before having to be recharged, which can take up to several hours.


With wireless charging technology, hybrids and pure electric cars can recharge on the move, allowing owners to go on longer trips without having to look for charging stations and stopping to recharge along the way, which can be quite a hassle. At the moment, German automaker Daimler is at the forefront of development of inductive charging technology for automotive applications, working together with Qualcomm, one of the world's leading wireless technology companies, to create innovative solutions that allow electric cars to be recharged without being plugged in.

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#1

Re: Under-Road Wireless Charging for EVs to Be Tested in UK

12/02/2015 11:35 AM

What did they spike their tea with?

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#2

Re: Under-Road Wireless Charging for EVs to Be Tested in UK

12/02/2015 7:31 PM

You might be able to charge a car parked over the charger in the garage for a day or two. I don't see how you can get enough energy through the roadway while the car drives across to do much of anything.

Wireless charging works fine for charging your phone where convenience trumps efficiency. Cars require a lot of energy. Hopefully somebody has done a little math.

If electric cars were economically competitive with gasoline powered cars, governments would not require taxpayers to subsidize them.

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Re: Under-Road Wireless Charging for EVs to Be Tested in UK

12/03/2015 8:58 AM

There is the key to the whole matter. Who pays for all this. Widespread wireless charging would likely have to be paid for by the government - i.e., we the tax payer.

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Re: Under-Road Wireless Charging for EVs to Be Tested in UK

12/03/2015 9:38 AM

True!!

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#3

Re: Under-Road Wireless Charging for EVs to Be Tested in UK

12/03/2015 2:30 AM

With the cash the Highways Authority should fix the numerous potholes first!

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#6

Re: Under-Road Wireless Charging for EVs to Be Tested in UK

02/03/2016 11:29 AM

How many coal fired power stations does it take to supply the energy needed to run

all these systems. let alone the practical and energy cost of installation.

If we can change the laws of physics ,why are we not supplying wireless energy to

every poor mud hut (including mine)

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