Fleet News

What you might not know about wireless EV charging

Alex Gruzen, WiTricity CEO

Alex Gruzen, WiTricity CEO

Interest is increasing in electric vehicles (EVs), but consumer anxiety and misconceptions over the ease and availability of charging has slowed EV proliferation on a global scale.

While wireless charging addresses many of those concerns, there are still myths circulating about how it works.

In reality, EV wireless charging is as efficient as plug-in options. Wireless EV charging based on magnetic resonance technology operates between 90% to 93% efficiency from the grid to the EV battery, well within the 88% to 95% efficiency range of conventional Level 1 or 2 plug-in EV chargers.

Wireless delivers the same charging power – in the same amount of time – as conventional plug-in methods.

EV wireless charging is flexible. Magnetic resonance requires neither physical contact nor fully accurate car alignment. No mess or fear of forgetting—your EV charges automatically, hands-free. The same charger can support low vehicles like a sports car up to high ground clearance SUVs. 

Magnetic resonance can also work through water, snow, ice, concrete and asphalt—so the EV can charge no matter the circumstance or installation.

EV wireless charging is safe. Wireless charging is a totally hands-free experience. No gas pumps or charging cables to mess with.

Magnetic resonance systems deliver energy from a ground pad to an embedded vehicle-side receiver, and all magnetic fields are contained in a limited space underneath the vehicle.

Following years of rigorous analysis and testing by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), wireless EV charging meets all regulatory guidelines for human safety.

Wireless EV charging technology keeps stray magnetic and electric fields below the well-established safety limits used in all consumer products, such as induction cooktops, cellphones or Bluetooth headsets. Sensing and processing hardware, which can detect foreign and living objects and vehicle position, ensure safety and ease of use.

EV wireless charging is being standardised on a global scale. Today, charging connectors have not been standardized across automakers and regions, and drivers sometimes have difficulty finding a plug that fits their specific model.

For wireless charging, automotive industry groups including SAE International (global), IEC/ISO (global) and CATARC (China) agreed from the beginning to create industry standards to ensure full interoperability.

EV wireless charging is dynamic. A future benefit is dynamic charging, which enables charging ‘on-the-go’. This is a breakthrough for taxi fleets which will be able to ‘power snack’ as they move through taxi queues waiting for passengers.

Wireless charging can help accelerate adoption of EVs in taxi fleets—important for the urban environment—by eliminating charging down-time and maximizing ‘in-service’ time on the roads.

EV wireless charging is a key enabler for the future of mobility. Wireless charging will also be critical for autonomous vehicles and autonomous parking, automatically charging by positioning themselves over local wireless charging pads.

While full robo-taxi deployment may be some years out, auto-valet parking is near at hand. Ultimately, robo-taxis are expected to dominate the passenger-miles in urban environments and smart cities, and wireless charging is a key enabler.

EVs are reshaping the automotive industry, and wireless charging can help make them accessible and appealing to all.

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