Hyundai Close To Making Wireless EV Charging A Reality

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EVs may finally reach peak convenience when you no longer need to physically plug in.

Physically plugging your Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV into a charging station could become a thing of the past, as according to a patent, discovered by CarBuzz at the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), Hyundai has devised a way to perform high-speed and efficient wireless EV charging.

First, let's take a quick and highly simplified look at how wireless charging works, using your phone as an example. Wireless charging uses electromagnetism as its energy transfer medium between a base (the wireless charging pad) and a receiver (your phone).

The base and receiver both contain large numbers of wire coils wrapped around individual ferrite (magnetizable) cores. When the base is energized by connecting it to an alternating current power source, it generates a rapidly alternating magnetic field which is mirrored by the receiver to generate energy.


Hyundai believes this technology is worth developing, despite numerous problems with upscaling the concept from its current mobile device incarnation. To make it happen, they've employed some very high-tech methods.

The first innovation is using flat wire for the coil windings. Most wireless charging equipment currently uses insulated "Litz" wire in their coils, which is extremely thin and very tightly wound to save space. While Litz wire is fine for low-power applications such as smartphone charging, it will be prohibitively expensive in a high-power application due to the complexity of its production.

Hyundai's patent loses the Litz wire and substitutes it with insulated flat wire, which can follow the shape of the squared-off ferrite core more closely. This method allows more windings to be packed into a smaller volume but also aids in tracking down issues.


Efficiency gains are also realized by the flat wire being wound at almost right angles around the ferrite core, which helps improve the strength of the generated magnetic field and reduce flux losses.

All these improvements aid in keeping costs down, improving power transfer efficiency, and allowing for a stronger magnetic field extending from the base. And, thanks to the squared-off coil design, the magnetic field can be aimed more precisely toward the receiving vehicle without incurring the usual flux losses.

The last two points are perhaps the most important advantages of this new type of power transmission coil design because it will allow a greater distance between the base and the receiver without losing too much energy.


The increased allowable distance between the two electromagnetic coils means that a car can take advantage of wireless charging without having to actually contact the wireless charging pad, and the squared-off design of the windings will reduce wasteful electromagnetic radiation in the area around the vehicle.

This fixes the problems present in traditional wireless chargers, where even a slight misalignment or too great a distance between the base and receiver will render wireless charging impossible due to wasted electromagnetic radiation and heat and diminished transfer efficiency.

In theory, Hyundai's new tech could provide the basis for below-ground charging pads installed in your home garage or built into the parkade at your local mall, letting your EV charge the moment you arrive. It's something that has been trialed previously, but the current systems, still have flaws. As ever, improving charging efficiency and speed are the best ways to make EVs successful in the mainstream.


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