As the future of travel technology continues to takes shape, it’s becoming apparent that electric cars will be the way forward sooner than many of us realise.
A European Union-funded project called Unplugged is taking on one of the biggest challenges in taking electric cars into the mainstream – the charging of the vehicles quickly and with ease.
In Zaragoza, Spain, the team behind Unplugged have developed a wireless charging system that allows the cars to drive over a parking space, line up with charging coils under the tarmac, and receive battery charge wirelessly. Best of all, it can charge a vehicle in just 20 minutes!
However, as the project enters another testing phase, there are some challenges. The car currently needs to be aligned perfectly with the coils to receive optimum charge, which requires perfect parking skills.
An Industrial Engineer for Unplugged, Lourdes Garcia, explains “The system works with coils that are buried under the tarmac of the charging station. It’s use inductive technology. The coil is energized from the electric grid. When the vehicle is positioned correctly on the charging station, a connection is made between the coils and the car. The coils transfer energy to the car. It’s a very flexible, modular system.”
But fear not for those of you who aren’t always the best at getting into a space correctly – Garcia’s colleague, Jörg Küfen, thinks he has the answer; “At the end of the project we’re now at a point where we can say, that with a camera and a radio frequency identification (RFID) support system we can enable a driver to approach the inductive charging system in the correct way”. This also means that no energy is lost, keeping things as green as possible.
The bosses at Unplugged are now looking for industry experts to help them finish off the development of the technology, with the hope that the wireless charging points will be finished completely and available within the next two years.
Do you think you’ll switch to an electric car in the near future? Would easier charging be a decision-maker for you? Comment below or tweet us at @Liftshare with your thoughts!
Photo credit: Pixabay
Author Lex Barber