The Future of Autonomous Vehicles with Wireless Charging

By CIOReview | Friday, May 17, 2019

FREMONT, CA: One of the most significant factors that hinder the acceptance of electric cars is its limited battery capacity. Depending on the charging system, it takes 45 minutes to a few days, to fully charge the battery of an electric car. There are further disadvantages of using wired cables for the purpose.

A wired cable requires the car to be kept stationary for an extended period. This point gets even more pronounced in case of emergency, or when the user forgets to charge his car in advance. And the wired cables are especially dangerous if the charging doors are not closed while driving out.

Limiting Factor

An electric car fares better than its gas fuelled counterparts in several aspects such as pollution control and reduced noise levels. It is also safer due to the heavy battery frame that brings down the center of gravity thereby enabling a better balance. But the major drawback lies in its energy storage capability. The prime potential fix includes supercapacitors. These energy storage devices are prone to energy leakage and capacity problems. Moreover, they are expensive. As their capabilities cannot be improved overnight, it’s better to focus on the enhancement of charging capabilities.

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Efficient Chargers

The new chargers that are up to 450 kW charge an electric car in almost the same time as it takes for a conventional vehicle to refuel at the gas station. Though there are a few problems with these chargers too. There are a few such chargers in the market, and their cost is comparable to that of a small car. Further, they require enormous power, thereby making their installation difficult. Wireless Charging Capability is still another alternative that addresses these challenges.

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Wireless Charging

A wireless charger meets many of the above-listed challenges. Wireless charging facility is available over the grid, or public areas such as parking places or at specially-build roads with charging capability. Thus, a wireless charging facility provides better user experience when compared with refueling at a gas station. Again, the main factor that limits the proliferation of this technology is its ‘cost.’ With WiTricity acquiring Qualcomm Halo, the two major companies are working toward addressing the cost related issues.