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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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RE: Don't really get it.
By Motoman on 7/11/2012 1:31:58 PM , Rating: 3
You're projecting your own stupidity upon others...and it's not working.

The problem is that you *can* recharge your car in a 100% efficient manner (at the point of consumption). Plug it in.

You can't do radio that way...or TV, etc. Your comparisons are ignorant.

Light bulbs are as efficient as we can make them. So on and so forth.

Any losses such things have are unavoidable - which isn't to say we shouldn't keep working on making them more efficient, and of course we are.

But there's a guaranteed way to stop the needless waste of energy at the point of consumption when charging your car. It's here today, and doesn't need any further R&D.

It's called "plug in your f%cking car." There. Fixed. Best it can be.

RE: Don't really get it.
By kingmotley on 7/11/2012 1:46:10 PM , Rating: 1
Really? You can't do radio with a wire? You don't think hardline phones are more efficient than say a cell phone?

You are deluded, and you need a history lesson on electric power transmission.

RE: Don't really get it.
By Motoman on 7/11/2012 2:06:19 PM , Rating: 2
You can't walk around with a phone unless it's wireless. You want to ban cell phones because they're inefficient? Knock yourself out - there's no alternative.

The radio in your car has to be wireless, or else you couldn't drive your car anywhere.

You can, however, plug your car in when you get home from work and get the same thing done as wireless induction. Without the loss.

Your comparisons continue to be invalid - just as you yourself are.

RE: Don't really get it.
By EnzoFX on 7/11/2012 2:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
Is it not comparable to the money wasted on gas? The gas engine too is horribly inefficient. So as long as it turns out to be less than that, hell even if it was the same, it'd be worth it just to get off the foreign stuff.

RE: Don't really get it.
By Motoman on 7/11/2012 4:00:38 PM , Rating: 3
The ICE engine is as efficient as we can make it.

Using field induction to charge your EV is unnecessarily wasteful.

A proper comparison would be filling the tank of your ICE car and then proceeding to spill 5% more fuel on the ground when your tank's full.

And then declaring "hey, I can afford to pay for this gas that I just wasted, so what the f%ck do you care?"

...what I care about is not senselessly wasting energy, just because you can.

For the same reason that it would be stupid to waste 5% of our gas by pouring it out onto the ground when fueling, it's equally stupid to waste 5% of our electricity by using field induction.

RE: Don't really get it.
By Motamid on 7/11/2012 9:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think what they were implying in the article and one of the main reasons this wireless charging is desirable, is that by placing them under the road they can recharge your car as you drive. Of course building such an infrastructure is a huge effort, but this could reduce the size of the battery necessary for EV's as they rarely leave the charging station. This could potentially increase the efficiency of the system overall as the car will be lighter and more efficient itself.

I think that in this case cell phones are a good analogy. When the technology was emerging, cell phones required a huge infrastructure investment and were less power efficient than the land lines that already existed. However, they have the benefit of improved mobility.

RE: Don't really get it.
By Paj on 7/12/2012 9:18:38 AM , Rating: 2
...what I care about is not senselessly wasting energy, just because you can.

Most power generation methods are extraordinarily wasteful due to heat loss, not to mention IC engines. all have this problem. Then you have transmission losses to contend with too.

RE: Don't really get it.
By Motoman on 7/12/2012 10:32:27 AM , Rating: 2
Which is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. The efficiency of the power generation has nothing to do with what we're talking about.

We're talking about purposefully throwing away a certain % of the power you've already generated because you're a lazy moron.

The correct analogy from an ICE standpoint would be filling your gas tank at the gas station (say you have a 20 gallon tank) and then just pumping another gallon onto the ground to waste it. You're just throwing it away, for no reason at all, other than apparently you really want to be wasteful.

Same thing as using field induction to charge your car because you're too lazy to plug it in. You're throwing away electricity for no reason at all.

RE: Don't really get it.
By Mint on 7/12/2012 1:19:01 PM , Rating: 2
The analogies aren't irrelevant at all.

You can wash dishes by hand (without filling the sink with water). You can hang clothes on a line instead of using the dryer. You can use the AC in your house less, or live in a smaller one to reduce energy demands. We can do a million things to save energy but we don't because they're inconvenient or compromise luxury, often only in a minor way.

Plugging in a car is similarly inconvenient, especially when you simply forget, at best forcing you to use fossil fuels in a PHEV the next day and at worst forcing you to call a cab because your pure EV can't be used until it's recharged.

It's a free world. If people want to pay for wasted electricity, let them. Electric cars will mostly be charged at night when electricity demands are low anyway.

RE: Don't really get it.
By Motoman on 7/12/2012 4:08:16 PM , Rating: 2
They are irrelevant, but I can make them relevant by tweaking all of them thusly:

You can wash dishes by hand...and spill 5% more water than needed and 5% more soap than needed onto the floor, just because you can afford to waste it.

You can hang clothes on a line...if you just throw 5% of them on the ground, such that the effort/resources you spent washing them is wasted, and they need to be washed again.

...the point isn't that one thing is necessarily more or less "efficient" than another. It's PURPOSEFULLY being wasteful when a no-waste option is easily at hand (for the same process...not saying don't use a dishwasher because hand washing is cheaper...I'm saying don't run the dishwasher one more time when it's empty just because you can afford the soap, water, and electricity to do so).

We simply don't need to introduce new ways to waste energy.

Especially electricity, and especially when we can't generate enough to meet demand in many places already, and especially when the grid as a whole is ready to teeter over in many places already.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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