Audi Working on Wireless Charging for EVs Using WiTricity Technology
March 1, 2012 6:53 PM
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Wireless charging technology uses magnetic induction
Several things need to happen before the electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid becomes common on the mainstream auto market. These vehicles need a longer driving range, the technology needs to come down in price, and changes in how the vehicles charge are needed. Namely, the charging would ideally be done without wires so the driver wouldn’t have to remember to plug in when they get home.
Audi is working on wireless charging technology using
technology. Audi is rather mum on the details of its wireless charging initiative, so we only have a general overview of what it has in mind. With the system, power is transferred from an inductive charging point to the vehicle using a magnetic field when the vehicle is in the proper charging position.
This technology would allow the driver to simply pull into their garage or driveway and charging would automatically start. The system uses two WiTricity coils with one in the parking lot (or driveway/garage) and another integrated into the car’s charging system. Power would be transferred between those two coils to charge the vehicle batteries.
Audi e-tron Spyder Concept
Project Leader Dr. Björn Elias says, "We aim to offer our customers a premium-standard recharging method – easy to use and fully automatic, with no mechanical contacts. It uses the induction principle, which is already well known from various products, from the electric toothbrush through the induction cooker hotplate. We are now using it to recharge cars."
The primary coil would be located in the garage or in the driveway, and could be placed beneath a surface like concrete or asphalt. It would not be affected by rain, ice, or snow and there's no risk of shock to humans or animals.
Audi envisions a future where the charging coils are integrated into surfaces such as home driveways or parking spots in parking garages.
Dr. Elias outlines a medium-term scenario, "Imagine you drive to work in your
, and on the way home you stop off at the store. Wherever you park the car, its battery will be recharged – perhaps even at traffic signals. These short recharging cycles are ideal for the battery: the smaller the difference between the values before and after recharging, the longer the battery's potential operating life."
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3/2/2012 10:44:40 AM
See above. 10% is pretty huge, especially when taking into account the apparent size of the target population.
And especially granted the state of our power grid, which already loses a lot to the environment, and is already overtaxed...adding additional waste is a really stupid idea.
Let's make up some numbers.
There's ~8 million people in NYC. Let's say that, on average, they live 2 people to a household. Then let's say that half of those households have cars. Then let's say half of those would have an electric vehicle such as this. That's 1 million electric cars if you've managed to follow the arithmetic.
Let's say that it costs $50 a month to charge said vehicle. That's $50 million dollars a month spent just in NYC on electricity for these cars.
...and at a loss rate of 10%, that means that 5 million dollars' worth of electricity was just flushed down the toilet in a month. $60 million a year - wasted. Generated, transported, delivered...and thrown away.
Just in one city.
That seem like a good idea to you?
Saying "electromagnetic induction is one of the most efficient methods to transfer power wirelessly" is akin to saying "getting punched in the gut is one of the least painful places in which to get punched." You're still getting punched. Better to not get in the fight in the first place. Plug your damn car in.
3/2/2012 12:41:13 PM
Not saying you're wrong; you certainly bring up valid points. However, charging efficiency tends to go down with faster charge rate. Basically you're trying to shove electrical power into the battery's chemistry so quickly that some of it "spill over" and heats up the battery. The few graphs I've seen show charging efficiency dropping from close to 90% to around 70% for a quick-charge.
So a 10% loss in a slow "always on when parked" charger will probably be better than the charging losses from a rapid "OMG I forgot to plug it in and I need to go in 30 min" quick-charge. Which is more efficient overall will really depend on the actual battery charging specs and performance, as well as the charging habits of the population overall (how frequently do they use quick charges).
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