Remember wireless EV charging? It’s catching on. Automotive manufacturer Karabag is starting a new research project in Hamburg, testing out how to make the best magnetic induction EV charger possible. Nissan is, of course, still pushing forward with its wireless charger for the Leaf.
Researchers pushing ahead with inductive charging technology are counting on it becoming standard for electric vehicles within the next ten years. Problems with current EV charging stations, such as mechanical wear, vandalism, or accumulation of dirt, are cited as becoming markedly reduced by using a wireless system (although I’m not sure, exactly, what makes a wireless charger any cleaner).
Projects, Programs, and Installations
Karabag’s research project is funded by a federal research program, and involves installing 20 charging stations around Hamburg. Customers can participate for a fee of 198 Euros per month; their electric vehicles are outfitted for induction charging, with an onboard charger installed behind the front license plate. In order to charge the car as efficiently as with an actual physical cord, the car has to nearly touch the front plate to the charging station.
A number of companies are participating in Karabag’s project, including manufacturer Vahle, who designed the charging stations. Also supporting the experiment are Finepower – developer of the onboard charging unit – and logistics company Hermes. “We want to be able to use this innovating charging process in daily life,” said Hermes CEO Philip Noelling to German blog Autobild.
Nissan’s project is also steadily chugging along, with its system for the next generation of the Leaf expected to hit the market in 2013. In order to charge the battery, the EV will just have to park on top of a charging coil installed in the ground. Nissan’s subsidiary Infiniti will be making the electric limousines announced for 2014 compatible for wireless charging as well.