Wireless charging is likely to become the next big thing for electric vehicles (EVs), with the ambitious technology poised to offer several benefits to drivers. The adoption of electric vehicles is often met with doubts surrounding reliability and battery lifespan. To increase patronage, automakers release updates on a rolling basis to increase the range and battery capacity of their electric vehicles. Governments across the world have also encouraged the purchase of electric vehicles by offering tax credits and other incentives.
In the coming years, EVs are expected to take center stage in the automotive industry, but charging them can be frustrating, and especially on long drives where adequate planning is required to ensure the battery doesn’t die in a remote area. Previously, drivers didn’t need to worry about that as gasoline-powered vehicles could be charged at any gas station. In addition, gas stations also have a high density compared to the limited number of charging stations. Today, drivers must not only find a charging station, but also ensure it is compatible with their vehicle. In addition to being tiring, this can discourage more drivers from switching from gasoline vehicles.
Wireless charging has been around for a long time, though its adoption on a commercial scale has been quite slow. Its origin is traced to the 19th century when Nikola Tesla exhibited magnetic resonant coupling which transmitted electric energy through the air using a magnetic field between two circuits. Wireless vehicle charging functions in a similar way to wireless smartphone charging, albeit on a much larger scale. As Green Car Reports explains, wireless EV charging also adopts electromagnetic induction to transmit power through the air as a magnetic field, just like Nikola Tesla demonstrated all those years ago.
The EV Benefits Of Wireless Charging
Wireless charging can be advantageous to the driver for many reasons. A significant benefit is that the vehicle can be charged while in motion as opposed to charging the EV while parked and waiting for a full charge. As wireless charging functions automatically, there’s also no need for people to plug or unplug cables, thereby safeguarding against human error. With wireless charging, there are also fewer chances of short circuits and other electric faults. Not to mention, since there’s no need to plug and unplug the cable to charge the vehicle, the likelihood of wear and tear is considerably lower. With wireless charging, oxidation or the degradation of electronics becomes less of a concern as the connections are enclosed, according to CarBuzz. Wireless charging also makes it convenient to charge EVs since the driver only needs to park over the charging pad and wait until the EV is fully charged.
With so many benefits on offer with wireless charging, it is easy to see why it is set to be the next big upgrade for EVs. That said, when the upgrade will actually happen is another question entirely. While some believe it will manifest soon, others suggest the technology needs more time. As of today, there have been some attempts to integrate wireless charging. As CarBuzz explains, German automaker, BMW, undertook a minor pilot program to test wireless charging using its 5-Series plug-in hybrid. According to Green Car Reports, wireless charger solutions provider, WiTricity, is developing a wireless charging system for the Tesla Model 3, and Plugless Power already offers an aftermarket wireless charging solution for Tesla’s EV.