Japanese firm to launch wireless charging system for EVs
Japanese firm IHI Corp. aims to launch a wireless system that will allow people to charge electric vehicles without using an electric cable as early as 2019.
Such a user-friendly system, in which drivers could charge EVs while they are parked, is expected to boost the spread of EVs.
When charging a standard EV with a battery capacity of 30 kilowatt-hours, drivers currently use a normal battery charger for household use for about 10 hours, or a rapid charger that completes the task in dozens of minutes.
In both cases, the charger and the EV are connected through electric cables.
The wireless charging system uses magnetic resonance coupling, which effectively supplies electricity even when the power source and the recipient are apart from one another. A special electric current is generated by a battery charger, about half the size of a tatami mat, that is buried in the ground. The current runs into the circuits of a power receiving device attached to the EV, thereby charging the vehicle.
The system IHI has been developing jointly with US firm WiTricity Corp. finishes charging in almost the same amount of time as normal chargers. They envision it being used at garages and other places where EVs are parked for a long time.
WiTricity has also formed a technical tie-up with Toyota Motor Corp.
Major automobile manufacturers, including Germany's Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co., are researching wireless charging systems as well.
According to Zenrin Co., a major map information company, normal and rapid chargers for EVs in Japan were used at about 6,000 locations as of May 2012. That number had quadrupled to about 24,000 locations in November 2016.
EVs have some challenges, including the relatively limited distance they can travel on one charge. But if charging systems become better and more user-friendly, that will promote the further spread of EVs.
Copyright: The Japan News/ Asia News Network