Wireless charging tech vital for EV uptake

By 2025, more than 37 million electric vehicles (EVs) will be on the road worldwide, Navigant Research predicts. With the announcement from the UK that sales of petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040, it could be that we will see this figure rise as people start buying EVs ahead of that date so they aren’t left with an unsellable asset.

The interesting aspect is that this shift to EV’s is happening not only because EVs are becoming more economically viable, but, as in the UK and France, because the health concerns of operating petrol and diesel driven vehicles can no longer be ignored.

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To help alleviate any concerns of operating an EV, extending their range is critical. After all, most consumers and fleet owners don’t want to constantly worry about running out of power, so for them the easiest way to avoid that drawback is to stick with conventional vehicles in the short term.

Our work in department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Auckland is all about removing the plug-in and range anxieties associated with owning an EV.

While advances in battery technology will help with this concern and the sales barrier it creates, less obvious is the work we are doing on another aspect that’s equally important for making EVs mainstream: wireless charging. Instead of plugging in their vehicles, drivers can simply park as usual, but over a coil placed on the ground or buried in it, and the charging process happens automatically.

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