In 2012, the matter of wireless charging of electric cars became a major talking point as technology companies took major steps to make it popular
Qualcomm and Charge master
Qualcomm, a mobile technology market leader has united with the London Mayor and UK government. They plan to release a set of wireless electric charging stations for trails in London. There will be 50 different variants of electric cars being used including some Addison Lee taxis. Qualcomm’s wireless Hot Springs electric vehicle charging technology is also known as Inductive Power Transfer (IPT). Electric charging kits will be provided by Chargemaster, which will be installed around London.
A major benefit of wireless charging stations is the convenience factor. No longer will electric car drivers have to step out and connect wires to their cars. The technology clearly indicates a step forward within the electric car industry. Such innovation is sure to be heavily relied upon in the future, as electric cars become cheaper and cheaper as they more are purchased. In essence wireless charging stations will add more flexibility to owners. It may also lower car insurance premiums too, adding more security to the way electric vehicles are actually charged.
They are expected to into force in the near future according to both Chargemaster and Qualcomm. First the trails must prove to be successful. One potential hindrance of the technology is the length of time in which a battery needs to fully charge. Some sources believe that the charging points could take up to four hours to give enough power for a whole battery. Will people have enough time to wait around for four hours?
The trails will be costly and will involve the analysis of many factors in order to determine whether it is a success or not. Trails are not expected to be a direct hit or miss in many respects. Depending on how the technology is used, developers could redesign certain aspects or create new elements that add to the technology. Chargemaster have confirmed already that the important aspects of the technology are already in place.
If the trails were indeed a success, this would mean that many public charging points around the UK would have to be rebuilt in order to adapt. Current electric cars will also not be able to simply roll on and utilise the technology instantly but none of them possess the technology to adapt to the system yet. This is where car manufacturers themselves would need to invest and ensure that their vehicles are able to adapt to the charging stations. Their vehicles would somehow need to have the ability to be charged wirelessly.
It is unclear as to when the trails will begin and end as of yet. When they do commence there will be plenty of interest from the public. It may even entice motorists to purchase an electric car.
How it all works
Qualcomm’s IPT system works in a complex way. A transmitter pad connects to the vehicle’s electric battery via the receiver pad. The receiver and transmission pad must be 400mm apart. The transmitter is conveniently installed within the ground with the receiver pad installed into the base of the car, ensuring a connection can easily be established. This allows the driver to simply drive over the transmission pad in order for the electric battery charging to safely commence.
The system sounds complicated but is in actual fact very easy to use. Even the most non-technical users will have no trouble charging their car