The buzz phrase in the electric car market at the moment is "wireless charging", which many people believe is the future of the industry. One of the major drawbacks at the moment is the inability for electric car users to recharge their batteries in a relatively short space of time and indeed the matter of where charging stations are located is uppermost in the minds of many. So, does wireless charging hold the key to the future?
What is wireless charging?
As the term suggests, wireless charging is the ability for an electric vehicle to recharge without having to physically plug the vehicle into a charging station. The concept has been around for many years and indeed electric buses in Italy already make full use of the technology, allowing them to complete 200 km roundtrips without having to fully recharge their batteries.
The technology in Italy is placed at each bus station and the main terminus, offering a relatively short recharging period to top up the batteries by anything up to 15%. Passengers will be unaware that the bus is being charged wirelessly and there is absolutely no impact upon the quality of their journey. So is this potentially the key to breaking the back of consumer concern regarding electric vehicles?
Major car manufacturers grasping the technology
It is common knowledge that the vast majority of electric car manufacturers around the world also have a vested interest in third-party wireless recharging technology. Indeed companies such as BMW and Nissan are looking to move their own particular technology into the mass market, having already successfully negotiated the testing and concept phases.
As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, in many ways the battery technology and recharging technology required to let the electric car market breath has been denied the oxygen it requires. However, thankfully it seems that the industry as a whole has now woken up to this issue and electric car charging points of the future will be very different to what we recognise today. Indeed Pike Research believes there will be in excess of 280,000 wireless charging systems by the end of 2020.
How will this technology work?
Nissan already have a technology in place which will allow your electric vehicle to be wirelessly recharged when parked in a specially adapted parking space. There is also talk of introducing wireless recharging facilities across the motorway system which would effectively see batteries topped up as cars passed over the facility.
The technology would not give a full recharge of the batteries but a constant top-up would in theory give your vehicle the journey capacity which we so commonly associate with traditional fuel powered vehicles. Would that change your mind about acquiring an electric vehicle in the future?
Battery power and wireless recharging technology are two major areas which have received significant attention from the world's largest electric car manufacturers over the last few months. We have seen great developments in the world of electric car technology, we have seen significant improvements in aerodynamics, and it seems that now is the time to concentrate upon battery technology and wireless recharging technology. It will be interesting to see whether the uptake of wireless charging facilities is as swift as many expect, although with a number of major car manufacturers having already passed the testing and concept phases of this particular technology, it does not seem to be too far away from the mass market.