Germany is leading the charge in wireless charging but the US is next.
Israeli company, Electreon and Germany's EnBW are the latest to test wireless EV charging, and Michigan could be next. The new experiment in Germany might only feature a single road and bus, but if things work out, we could look at a revolution in how we travel. The tech should soon come to the US after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the state would test wireless on-road charging shortly.
EV battery technology is constantly improving, and wireless charging will likely be the next giant leap in the future of electric vehicles. Wireless charging for EVs has been in the headlines for years now, and many major manufacturers have claimed to have mastered the art. Still, thus far, they have yet to effectively and sustainably apply the technology.
The technology implemented in this project is based on similar technology used in wireless phone charging, where electricity is transferred from magnetic coils underground through the air to another coil fitted in the vehicle.
Whereas in-car charging pads use a static system, adding movement to the process adds apparent challenges. Still, if the problem can be solved, it will promise many benefits, including lighter batteries, more efficient EVs, and many cost savings.
The Balingen project features a 0.6-mile stretch of road along a German highway with two static charging stations at strategic stopping points. This won't be Electreon and EnBW's first rodeo; the two companies have previously run successful tests at EnBW's training center in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Electreon will soon electrify part of the nation's Autobahn.
Volvo has also been at the forefront of wireless charging technology and is currently testing this breakthrough charging method with a fleet of Volvo XC40 Recharge SUVs. According to Volvo, wireless charging will offer massive improvements over current wired charging methods. Wireless charging will charge four times faster than your average 11kW AC charger and close to the same rate as a 50kW DC rapid charger.
"The aim of this project is not only to open up wireless charging to the public in Germany. Other significant aspects include the development and use of a tool that will assist public transportation planners in where to install the inductive infrastructure for a specific town or region," said Andreas Wendt, CEO of Electreon. "We have already shown in our joint Karlsruhe project with EnBW how effective, safe, and easy to deploy wireless dynamic charging is. We hope this is the start of many more projects on public and private roads in Germany."