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Delphi Partnering with WiTricity to Develop Automatic Wireless Charging for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

30 September 2010

Witricity
Wireless charging with WiTricity. Click to enlarge.

Delphi Automotive has reached an agreement with WiTricity Corp., a wireless energy transfer technology provider, to develop automatic wireless charging products for hybrid and electric vehicles. The collaboration between the two companies is intended to help establish a global infrastructure of safe and convenient charging options for consumer and commercial electric vehicles.

WiTricity is commercializing an approach to “mid-range” wireless charging—distances from a centimeter to several meters. (Earlier post.) Developed by a team led by MIT Professor Marin Soljačić, the company’s technology is based on sharply resonant strong coupling, and is able to transfer power efficiently even when the distances between the power source and capture device are several times the size of the devices themselves. WiTricity’s technology is a non-radiative mode of energy transfer, relying instead on the magnetic near field.

The power transfer efficiency of a WiTricity solution depends on the relative sizes of the power source and capture devices, and on the distance between the devices. Maximum efficiency is achieved when the devices are relatively close to one another, and can exceed 95%.

According to Eric Giler, CEO, WiTricity, its charging system can already transfer more than 3,300 watts—enough to fully charge an electric car at the same rate as most residential plug-in chargers. Drivers would simply park their electric vehicle over a wireless energy source that sits on the garage floor, or is embedded in a paved parking spot.

Delphi’s expertise in global engineering, validation and manufacturing coupled with WiTricity’s patented wireless energy transfer technology uniquely positions us to make wireless charging of electric vehicles a reality.

—Randy Sumner, director, global hybrid vehicle development, Delphi Packard Electrical/Electronic Architecture

Delphi also makes a Portable Electric Vehicle Charger that fits in the trunk of an electric vehicle. The UL-listed charging system plugs into any standard 120-volt outlet to enable safe electric vehicle battery charging at home or away. The charging unit can also be integrated into stationary charging applications.

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September 30, 2010 in Electric (Battery), Infrastructure, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Finally a real American approach to EV charging --- "automatic wireless"! Now if we can only find ways to make everything else in the world "automatic" and "wireles"!!!!

Nothing about cost and weight. Embedding the transmitters in pavement would be another expense above e.g. kiosks with cables. So is the cost of repair, though the potential for vandalism seems to be much smaller.

Even with resonant coupling, the nearby EMFs will be high. I'm not sure how the safety analyses of these have come out, but the legal environment could be quite hostile; just look what's happened with vaccines.

As long as they can keep the installation prices low and efficiency high I'm all for it. No forgetting about plugging it in.

People could use these in garages, it would be nice to just park the car, the light comes on and it just happens. Whether employers, malls or other places would put these in is still a question.

Finally a real American approach to EV charging --- "automatic wireless"!
Yeah, because we all know "Americans" are too stupid to understand the working principles of a 'plug and socket.'

lol *just kidding*

It adds some inefficiency and complexity, but I think it would be popular. The idea of inductive charging with EV1 was safety. Plugging in a paddle in the rain was not a problem. This is even less of a problem.

Excellent idea, specially in countries where 30+% can no longer extend an arm enough to reach a power plug. Of course, wireless chargers will identify the vehicle and automatically charge owner's credit card or bank account.

Could 1000s +¨+ of these be embedded into highways/streets to recharge BEVs on the go and get unlimited e-range with smaller batteries? EV owners would never have to worry about recharging batteries. Here again, users would be automatically charged for the energy used.

It could become a huge national 'make work' project.

Once they get an affordable one for home use, lots of things are possible. I throw down an inductive floor mat where my car gets parked in the garage and plug it in. My car communicates to the charger and vice versa.

The public chargers, employers and malls can have paddles, plugs and pads. Once standards are set the market can decide. If I do not want to buy an EV with inductive charging I do not have to. But once the convenience versus the price come into focus, we may see a high adoption rate.

"Even with resonant coupling, the nearby EMFs will be high. I'm not sure how the safety analyses of these have come out, but the legal environment could be quite hostile; just look what's happened with vaccines."

There are no electrical fields, just magnetic fields that have very low coupling to organisms already.

Changing magnetic fields induce currents in any conductor they touch. Currents are proven to affect biological systems (they're used medically to help heal difficult bone breaks), so it's far from obvious that the effects of inductive power transfer systems can be ignored.

Conductive systems don't have such influence, are just as safe (ground faults are easy to detect), and are cheaper and lighter. I'm not sure what people are willing to pay and risk for convenience. Time will tell, I guess.

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