Electric Vehicles – Wireless Charging

Dr Arun Ulahannan & Prof. Stewart Birrell, from Coventry University, give an overview to wireless charging for electric vehicles in this video.

Hello and welcome to this third video in our electric vehicle series and this one is all about wireless charging.

As we discussed in the first video, range is one of the key challenges with electric vehicles.

Right now, how far you can travel is often a source of anxiety for drivers, especially so for taxi drivers who lose the opportunity to collect fares whilst their vehicle charges.

So how could we address these? Well, we could try a bigger battery. Or perhaps battery swapping. We could have more opportunities for faster charging.

Or as another solution, we could support more opportunistic charging. What do we mean by this?

Well, what if drivers could charge in smaller quantities but more frequently throughout the day?

We know from research that drivers like to ensure that the battery they use on their electric vehicle is replenished as quickly as possible, so we need to streamline the charging process, make it easier and more convenient so that charging multiple times a day doesn’t become a hindrance.

Wireless charging could achieve just that and this is what the WiCET project aims to achieve.

We could have a wireless charging pad installed at the taxi rank so drivers can receive a battery charge whilst waiting for a fare.

But wireless charging is currently slower than fast charging for this WiCET project.

Our Chargers aim to achieve around 11 kilowatts, so let’s do a quick bit of maths based on the technique that we learned in the previous video.

So imagine you have a vehicle with a 40 kilowatt hour battery and you sit on an 11 kilowatt wireless charger for half an hour, then you would receive 5.5 kilowatt hours of energy. This is about a 10% battery charge.

Now, if you completed a fair and then on returning to the rank you wirelessly charged again, then you would receive another smaller top up doing this frequently throughout the day could help you maintain your battery charge for longer.

But there are some challenges. Mainly alignment is crucial for wireless charging, meaning how well the wireless charging pad on the ground and the charging pad on the vehicle line up.

The better they line up, the higher the charging rate. So alignment is crucial.

Luckily there is support from an in vehicle system to help you park accurately. This will be covered in the documentation for your wirelessly charging taxi.

And what about safety? All wireless charges in the UK and EU are subject to stringent emission standards. This means ensuring that any wireless emissions from the charger are well within safe levels.

The WiCET project believes that wireless charging will be of huge benefit to taxi drivers. It’s quick, convenient and cable free, meaning you can worry less about where and when to charge and focus on running your business.

Watch Video 1

Watch Video 2