EV charging on the move?

A wireless power system able to charge electric cars on the go is being developed in the US.

The 20kW wireless charging system has the potential to match the power output of plug-powered fast-chargers, and is up to three times faster than other plug-in alternatives.

Developed by government-backed Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with Toyota, Cisco Systems, Clemson University and Evatran, the system works by transferring energy from a transmitting plate in the road to a receiving plate underneath the front of the car. It is then transferred to the battery.

The technology has already been tested with a Toyota RAV4 fitted with an additional 10kWh battery and could soon be ready for launch.

Madhu Chinthavali, ORNL power electronics team leader, said, ‘We now have a technology that is moving closer to being ready for the market.’

The next step is upping the system’s output to 50kW, says ORNL, which believes this technology will be best suited to commercial electric vehicles which travel on regular routes and stop at predetermined intervals.

However, cost is a major concern with ORNL estimating that implementing the technology could be up to £1.4m per mile.