80% charge in 10 minutes is the goal.
Electric vehicles are pretty impressive as a technological exercise, but if there's one thing that you can always count on, it's that engineers will always look for a way to make things better. At present, most electric cars are charged in a similar way to how one would top up gas or diesel in an internal combustion-powered machine, they just take longer. But wireless charging is the next step to making EVs even more attractive to the buying public. The tech has been around for some time, but it can always get better, and that's what Volkswagen is working towards. The auto giant has announced that it is experimenting with the Porsche Taycan in an effort to bring wireless charging times down, with the goal of achieving an 80% recharge in just 10 minutes.
The work is being done at Volkswagen Group of America's Innovation Hub in Knoxville, which is where the automaker works on applied material science. The unit has now expanded its research collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee. Oak Ridge is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory.
The goal of the collaboration is to focus on material science development and recycling to improve electric mobility. The first project is to achieve the goal of developing a higher-power wireless charger. Volkswagen aims to do this through "breakthrough designs that focus electromagnetic waves to eliminate interference, thus increasing efficiency." In the first trials of the tech, a prototype system has provided promising results, with up to 98% of the energy used reaching the vehicle's battery.
The teams involved with the project have also been able to build from a charging power level of 6.6 kW up to 120 kW, with the long-term goal being 300 kW. If that can be achieved, then a Porsche Taycan could theoretically reach an 80% charge level "in about 10 minutes." If the technology works as expected, the next step will be making it more affordable so that it can one day be used on more accessible vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4. This is all remarkable progress, but VW is taking things further, "working on new recycling concepts for materials conventionally deemed non-recyclable, such as fiber-reinforced composites." Volkswagen is really going out of its way to turn its image around post-Dieselgate.