Wireless charging to drive growth of EVs and autonomous vehicles

October 04, 2016

Wireless charging technology that allows EVs to park and charge without a plug could be the key to driving future demand. Manufacturers are preparing to launch EVs with wireless charging capability over the next two years. WiTricity is among a number of suppliers developing systems and it recently announced it was collaborating with Prodrive Technologies to design a wireless charging system for a manufacturer planning to launch vehicles in 2019. Products already on the market include Qualcomm’s Halo. Mercedes-Benz will offer wireless charging in the S500e which will be launched next year. Wireless charging is typically a ground-based system, which allows cars to drive over a plate, that recharges a vehicle’s batteries across a small gap between the charger and the car. Unplugging the charging process makes it hassle-free for drivers, but also allows autonomous vehicles to recharge themselves. Wintergreen Research suggests the wireless car charging market will be worth $4.6 billion by 2019 as it replaces plug-in charging stations. It says wireless technology will revolutionise the vehicle market in the same way that Wi-Fi transformed global internet connectivity. Alex Gruzen, chief executive officer of WiTricity, added: “Wireless charging is emerging as a critical technology for automakers worldwide, particularly as autonomous vehicles become central to future product strategy.”




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