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Wireless Charging – the Key Technology to an Automated Future

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As the globe accelerates the Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution, the market and technology of EV is rapidly developing. Along with the development of EV, the market of autonomous vehicles (AV) is rising as well. To realize the idea of full automation, the technology of wireless charging is one of the key technologies.

The global wireless charging market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 53.1% during 2020 – 2027 and reach a value of $827.03 million by 2027 (Meticulous Research, 2021). Europe will be the global leader in the EV adoption and by 2030, half of the passenger vehicles sold in Europe are expected to be electric (Meticulous Research, 2021). In addition, governments in Europe are implementing wireless charging for commercial transportation as well (Meticulous Research, 2021).

There is no doubt that wireless charging has many advantages over wired charging. Firstly, and most importantly, wireless charging will make charging without human intervention possible (Schatz, 2021). This factor is extremely important for consumers and fleet operators. This technology can be implemented in commercial fleets such as delivery and transportation. If so, the vehicles will no longer require a human to assist them with charging. Additionally, wireless charging allows vehicles to be charged while still in service (Schatz, 2021). For example, if wireless charging is embedded in Taxi queue and stops, then it is possible for the taxi to charge itself while waiting for customers (Schatz, 2021). As a result, the availability and profitability of commercial vehicles can be increased. Furthermore, the elimination of charging cables and charging poles can also enhance the safety in a parking lot.

However, despite all these advantages, there are challenges that wireless charging technology is facing currently. One of the most noticeable challenges is the loss of energy when charging. The current technology delivers high amounts of power between transmitter and receiver. However, this link is very fragile. If the transmitter and receiver is not matched properly, the efficiency of energy transfer can be greatly reduced. There are some potential solutions for this. For instance, researchers from Cornell University have developed an electric field system to replace the current magnetic system (Nutt, 2021). While this technology increases the charging speed for almost 200 times faster, it also implements a matching system for the receiver and transmitter to boost the efficiency. The researchers have designed two insulated metal plates that can be connected to a power line (Nutt, 2021). This creates oscillating electric fields that attracts and repel charges in a pair of matching metal plates attached to the underside of the EV (Nutt, 2021). Through this more liner and directed technology, power transfer can be more efficient and more powerful.

Additionally, the safety in the wireless charging is an underlying safety issue. If there is an object lying between the transmitter and receiver, the efficiency could be reduced and there could be other safety concerns. For instance, if an animal lies between the transmitter and receiver, they could be harmed by the current and extremely high voltage energy.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that wireless charging will lead the future of automation and EV.  Since this is still a fairly new market, there are many unsolved issues and challenges. But one of the main advantages in this market is that there are many supporting policies or subsidies from various government globally. With the support from government and the development of technology, it is certain that wireless charging has a promising future. And this could be the key technology to lead the human society to an automated future.

References

Meticulous Research. (April 2021). Wireless Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging System Market. Retrieved from https://www.meticulousresearch.com/product/wireless-electric-vehicle-charging-systems-market-5178?utm_source=Globnewswire&utm_medium=Paid&utm_campaign=Product&utm_content=20-09-2021

Nutt, D. (April 28, 2021). Research Paves Way for Wireless Charging of Electric Vehicles. Retrieved from https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2021/04/research-paves-way-wireless-charging-electric-vehicles

Schatz, D. (September 14, 2021). Pull the Plug: How Wireless Charging Makes Autonomy a Reality. Retrieved from https://www.ept.ca/features/pull-the-plug-how-wireless-charging-makes-autonomy-a-reality/