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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 othercents on 7/11/2012 2:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
The future might include standardized battery packs that can easily be swapped out at "gas" stations. Or you might be driving an ICE car or hybrid that uses biofuels. Or...whatever.

Perhaps, but I would hate to swap my brand new car's batteries for another older set at a "gas" station, or pay for all these extra batteries to be kept charged. And think of all the gas stations that would have to be retrofit or built to accommodate the batteries along with security. I think this might have been why they are not researching this area as much as remote charge.

We have plug-in hybrids now and maybe we don't ever become fully free from oil (at least not in my life time). However I bio-fuels are another issue since there are many environmentalists are upset about using food for cars. Then you have the economists upset about all the government funding required to make bio-fuels profitable.

EVs will be here in the future. But there's no reason to think we won't improve upon their long-distance utility (in non-wasteful ways), or that only EVs will be around.

I think if history is of any indication of the future then we will continue to do just as many wasteful things in the future as in the past. Overtime those wasteful things will be upgrade to be less wasteful and re-engineered to be better then they are now, but we have to start somewhere.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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