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Researchers show off EV charging through the tires

Several notable issues are preventing electric vehicles from entering the mainstream consumer market today. Perhaps the biggest issue that is keeping the average consumer from buying an electric vehicle is range anxiety. Another major issue for many car shoppers that might otherwise consider an EV is a much higher cost of entry compared to a traditional automobile.

Another more pressing concern is one of recharging an EV and finding a power receptacle when away from home. A team of researchers from the Toyohashi University of Technology has unveiled a very novel and much more interesting way to recharge an electric vehicle wirelessly. The team from the University is led by Takashi Ohira and has recently been showing off a wireless electric field coupling system that can charge an EVs batteries through the tires. The big benefits of this system are four points of charging, rather than one point that we typically see in other wireless charging systems. That opens the door to the possibility of transferring more power to the vehicle at one time resulting in faster recharging.

The researchers have been showing a demo where a metal charge plate is placed under a four-inch layer of concrete to represent road surface. The team was able to transmit between 50 and 60 W of power through actual automobile tires and make a light bulb attached between the two tires turn on. The University researchers call the project EVER (Electric Vehicle on Electrified Roadway).

Another interesting possibility with wireless charging through the tires is that the team has been able to demonstrate the ability to transmit that power through a concrete block and into the tires of the vehicle to charge the batteries. That means with the right infrastructure an electric vehicle could be charged as it drives down the road.

There is no indication of when or if this project might be commercialized.

The U.S. Energy Department recognizes that charging is a challenge facing EVs and in April of 2012 offered up to $4 million to companies willing to develop wireless chargers for EVs. So far, most of the wireless chargers we've seen consist of some sort of charger on the surface of the driveway or road and a receiver mounted to the underside of the vehicle.


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Am I the only one who saw the headline, and...
By silverblue on 7/11/2012 10:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
...visualised a car charging through a pile of tyres at speed? :P

Could we see wider tyres in order to increase contact with the road and contact with the plates, or am I just missing the point here?

By amanojaku on 7/11/2012 11:09:48 AM , Rating: 2
Could we see wider tyres in order to increase contact with the road and contact with the plates, or am I just missing the point here?
Yes, you're missing it, and for that we mock you. >:P The WIDTH of the tire doesn't matter, since the tire does not conduct the power transmitted from the charging plate. Instead, the batteries in the wheels are several inches away from the plates (tire THICKNESS or sidewall height + depth of plate in concrete, etc...), and the power is propagated like your wireless Ethernet, cell phone, AM/FM radio or satellite signals.
Am I the only one who saw the headline, and...visualised a car charging through a pile of tyres at speed? :P
No, and for that we salute you. There are few things in life as fun as smashing through things that bounce off of other stuff.

By silverblue on 7/11/2012 11:16:19 AM , Rating: 2
+1 to you, sir. :)

By silverblue on 7/11/2012 11:19:56 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it would be if I could figure out where the Worth Reading link went... :|

RE: Am I the only one who saw the headline, and...
By Motoman on 7/11/2012 11:27:11 AM , Rating: 2 must be new here. If you comment on an article, you can't vote up/down. And any votes you previously registered would be undone.

By silverblue on 7/11/2012 4:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite; I just rarely use voting features as they're usually employed as a distraction rather than a useful tool.

By Motoman on 7/12/2012 4:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well, their function is actually to operate as a popularity contest - which shouldn't be necessarily construed as an indication of truth or virtue.

Frequently, popular opinions can get 5 ratings, while being categorically incorrect in every way. Likewise, posts that are absolutely correct can simply be unpopular, and get rated down to -1.

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