Charging up an electrical vehicle is no feat of techno wizardry. Plug it in, wait a bit, and off you go, a no brainer at best. But how about charging up like some mobile device users do: wirelessly. That would certainly make things easier for the user.
On the case, Delphi Automotive and WiTricity pool their specialized skills to deliver what they’re calling a revolutionary, green technology that, as per Delphi’s director of global hybrid vehicle development Randy Sumner, “could enable automotive manufacturers to integrate wireless charging directly into the design of their hybrid and electric vehicles”. The collaboration connects Delphi’s global engineering, validation, and manufacturing expertise with patented wireless energy transfer technology from WiTricity.
The team’s wireless charging system involves no plugs or charging cords. Allegedly, drivers can merely park their electric car over a wireless energy source, which resides on the user’s garage floor or embeds into a parking spot (see figure). In turn, the system automatically transfers power to the vehicle’s battery charger.
Eric Giler, chief executive officer at WiTricity, claims their wireless system can already transfer over 3.3 kW of power, a level capable of fully charging an electric car at the same rate as a typical residential plug-in charger. “Charging an electric car should be as easy as parking it in a garage or parking spot,” Giler says.
Randy Sumner points out that wireless charging technology needs to co-exist with plug-in charging solutions so that electric vehicle drivers have the ability to charge their vehicles when they are away from the charging source. For just those situations, Delphi offers a portable electric vehicle charger that easily fits in the trunk. User friendly, the charging system plugs into a standard 120-Vac outlet. Additionally, the charging unit can integrate within stationary charging applications.