The problem of battery charging is one of the reasons preventing the widespread use of electric cars. Perhaps it can be solved by the development of researchers from a university in the United States, who have created a technology for charging batteries directly while the electric car is in motion.
The development was led by an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who has spent the last seven years working on a project to bring wireless car charging infrastructure to U.S. highways.
“There will be a recharging lane on the highways, a sort of high occupancy lane. If your car has little energy left in the process of driving, you start moving in such a lane. The system will be able to detect which car is in the charging lane, and you will get a bill later. The project isn’t expected to be ready for large-scale deployment on public roads in the U.S. until five to 10 years from now. Even so, there is confidence that wireless charging is the best way to get rid of drivers’ fears about the inaccessibility of charging stations.
How does Plugless charging on the road work?
In their work, the researchers used the work of Nikola Tesla, who 100 years ago used alternating electric fields to power lights not connected to the grid. The new technology involves embedding special metal plates connected to power lines and a high-frequency inverter into the roadbed. These plates will create alternating electric fields, attracting and repelling pairs of plates attached to the bottom of the electric car, generating power.
Researchers have already been able to achieve some success. With their technology, it is possible to drive electric cars with ground clearance of up to 18 cm. In addition, charging continues even if the electric car drives on a road with plates that are several meters apart and not fully aligned. At the moment, the new technology can fully charge the battery of a small electric car such as a Nissan Leaf in 4-5 hours. For normal charging conditions, try the EV charging time calculator – it’s a good option to know when the electric car will be ready to continue driving after the charging station.
When will we see contactless chargers on the roads?
The main difficulties in the development process were related to the selection of suitable components that could withstand high voltage and were also suitable for use in different weather conditions. It is also worth noting that in order to integrate the new technology, it will be necessary to carry out an overhaul of public roads, which requires the allocation of huge amounts of money. According to scientists it will be implemented no earlier than 2028, and the electrification should begin with busy highways and major roads in major American cities.
Currently, about 1.8 million electric vehicles are registered in the United States. There are 41,000 stations with about 100,000 chargers to power them. This is clearly not enough to meet the needs of electric vehicle owners. When planning a complicated route with an electric vehicle, use, for example, the Tesla range calculator.
Tesla owners can use a special J1772 to Tesla cable to use the networks of other power suppliers. Such an adapter usually comes with new Tesla cars. Sometimes, a cable extension for electric cars will provide a more comfortable use of home charging stations.
Peer-to-Peer Car Charging: Electric Car Charging System on the Move
If airplanes can fuel each other in the air, why can’t electric cars? Researchers at the University of Florida have offered their own vision of how to organize charging of electric cars in motion.
In a recent article, they described how the Peer-to-Peer Car Charging (P2C2) system works, where they proposed linking two electric cars to each other using telescopic charging brackets.
“We envision a safe, insulated and robust telescopic support carrying the charging cable,” the University of Florida team said in the paper.
As conceived, electric cars converge at a certain speed and retrieve brackets with charging ports, which, under the influence of magnetic pads or other means, are connected and fixed to transfer the energy. The mechanical connection, however, is only one way to transfer the charge. Another option considered is wireless inductive charging.
According to engineers, for owners of electric cars who often use their battery “to the full”. It can completely eliminate the need to stop for quick charging at the station . In addition, such a system will give an opportunity to earn money on mobile “power transfer”. Electric cars with large battery capacity are considered as energy donors.
According to the researchers, such a charging system is most cost-effective for future fully autonomous electric cars operating in robotic cab services. With its use, the electric fleet of a service like Uber would not even have to stop to recharge.
There are already many unconventional projects on the market to organize the charging process for electric cars: inductive charging during a stop and directly while driving from the roadway, universal robots and various mobile charging stations.