Wireless EV chargers allow electric vehicles to charge their batteries completely wirelessly without the need for a physical cable connection.
The inductive charging technology transfers power from an electromagnetic field generated by a base station to the vehicle’s onboard charging system.
This eliminates the need for drivers to plug in their EVs and enables them to charge their vehicles without the hassle of cables.
While the technology sounds revolutionary for EV owners, people who charge their smartphones wirelessly will notice a few potential issues.
The biggest problem is charge speed – or a lack of it. The second problem is compatibility, in terms of retrofitting older vehicles, creating standards for new vehicles, and making sure that the wireless connection is easy to make.
This article looks at whether wireless EV chargers are the future.
Let’s jump in!
How do wireless EV chargers work?
Wireless EV chargers work by transferring energy from an electromagnetic field generated by a base station to the vehicle’s charging system.
The base station sends an alternating current (AC) signal through a coil, which creates a magnetic field. When the vehicle is placed within the magnetic field, this field induces a current in the coil inside the vehicle, which is then converted into direct current (DC) by the vehicle’s onboard charging system. This DC current is then used to charge the vehicle’s battery.
What are the pros and cons of wireless EV chargers?
- No cables needed, making the charging process faster, easier and more convenient.
- Wireless chargers can be more reliable than wired chargers, as there is no risk of the cables becoming damaged or disconnected.
- Wireless chargers are generally easier to install from a location perspective, and can often be mounted in places that are difficult to reach.
- Wireless chargers are more expensive than wired chargers.
- The charging process is slower than with a wired charger since the power transfer is not as efficient.
- The charging distance is limited and the vehicle must be positioned correctly for the charging process to work.
What challenges are there for wireless EV chargers?
One of the main challenges for wireless EV chargers is the fact that the charging range is limited. The magnetic field generated by the base station must be strong enough to induce a current in the vehicle’s charging system, but not so strong that it causes interference with other nearby devices.
Thus, wireless EV chargers have a limited charging field.
Additionally, the vehicle must be correctly positioned for the charging process to work, and the charging speed is slower than with a wired charger.
Finally, the cost of wireless chargers is generally higher than that of wired chargers, which may make them less attractive to potential buyers.
Why are wireless EV chargers slower than wired?
Wireless EV chargers are slower than wired chargers because they have lower power output due to the wireless signal losses and a limited power transfer rate.
The wireless charger must also convert the electricity from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) at a lower voltage before it can be used to charge the device. This process is slower than charging with a traditional cable, as the charger must convert the AC electricity to DC before it can be used to charge the device.
Are wireless EV chargers the future?
The short answer is yes, but not in every use case. Wireless EV chargers are likely to become more widely used in the future as the technology advances and becomes more affordable, but it will never be as fast or efficient as wired charging.
Wireless charging technology is being actively developed and is becoming increasingly popular with both electric vehicle manufacturers and consumers.