Spanish utility company Endesa and Fundacion CIRCE have come together to create what many believe is the fastest electric vehicle charging system available today. It is rumoured that the system can recharge your electric car batteries up to 80% capacity in just 15 minutes. This is a massive reduction in charging times compared to the more popular wired recharging systems of today.
How feasible is this new technology?
The new technology, which is not yet fully available and still in testing, will allow your batteries to be recharged to 80% capacity in just 15 minutes by parking over a ground based charging plate. The system uses electromagnetic waves, which may sound dangerous to some people, but are already in common use with regards to some mobile phone charging systems available around the world.
The idea is that you simply park your vehicle over the ground-based charging plate and as long as you are within range your batteries will be charged wirelessly. There is some concern about the relative inefficiency of the system, at least at this moment in time, unless you are parked exactly over the plate itself. The companies believe the margin of error is around 30% with regards to the parking position you need to take up.
Is this the answer for consumers?
Many consumers have been very concerned about recharging their electric car batteries overnight and indeed the fact that many of them are unable to do similar journey mileage to the more traditional fuel vehicles of today. There is the potential to introduce these wireless charging plates up and down motorways, at parking bays, outside houses, etc., so that without doing anything your vehicle will be recharged wirelessly.
The only downside at this moment in time is the cost of the technology, which is relatively high because it is relatively new. It is unlikely that many electric car manufacturers will introduce wireless charging facilities at this moment in time because they would add further cost to what many perceive to be the already high cost of electric vehicles. Some experts believe that within the next five years or so the cost of technology, both charging and car technology, will have fallen far enough to allow manufacturers to introduce this type of charging system as standard.
Is it time to tackle the battery charging market?
For some time now experts have been very vocal in their concerns that electric vehicle technology is far outpacing battery technology. Indeed it is also far outpacing recharging technology and as such the announcement today from the Spanish consortium has gone down very well. All we need now is for as many of these wireless (and wired) charging stations to be introduced up-and-down countries around the world. The more charging stations available, the more confidence the public will have and the more electric car sales will follow.
The traditional wired charging systems more commonplace today can take many hours to recharge your battery to anywhere near full capacity. While this is not an issue if you recharge your batteries overnight, it can become an issue if you are looking to recharge mid-journey. If this system is able to deliver 80% charging capacity within just 15 minutes this would be a massive leap in technology and would certainly catch the eye of consumers and car manufacturers. There are number of elements within the electric vehicle market which are now coming together to give experts hope for the future and great optimism for 2013.