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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 bah12 on 7/11/2012 1:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
How about a contact plate under the car that triangulates an RFID tag and pops up to charge via contact. Point is an automated process can still use a contact design. Induction just doesn't.

According to wiki, the best example they could give was 86%, that is an order of magnitude away from your 2% proposal. Contactless, just doesn't make any sense when you can still get an automated charge if a standard was developed.

RE: Don't really get it.
By Mint on 7/12/2012 1:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
Wiki is not cognizant of the depths of every technology out there. I've researched and built wireless charging systems (for biological implants) and there's no fundamental limit at 86%, especially with the ample room for this application (my work is stuck with inefficient coils and much larger distance-to-radius ratios).

Automated plugin is fine, but it has to be able to withstand being driven over by accident, and engaging/disengaging thousands of times before failure. If such a system costs more than the energy waste through a wireless solution, then it's inferior. Until then, there's no need to rule out wireless charging.

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