Drawbacks of wireless charging
It’s important to have a balanced overview of any technology, and wireless electric vehicle charging is going to have teething problems just like the majority of new technologies – here are a few potential drawbacks:
- Energy loss: There is the potential for 90-93% energy efficiency, but there will still be energy loss during the transfer. Over a larger scale, this leads to a lot of wasted energy that increases the total amount of electricity required to run the vehicles – this is especially true if the efficiency numbers are under 90%.
- Building the infrastructure: When considering adding wireless charging to roadways, implementing the infrastructure may not make economic sense. To start, it might be restricted to densely populated urban areas, which will limit the user to predefined locations.
- Health effects: The magnetic fields created may be harmful or they may not – more investigation is required to ensure that long-term exposure to weak magnetic fields isn’t going to be a problem.
Who is offering wireless electric vehicle charging?
Currently, there are a limited number of companies offering the wireless charging technology, but there are a few. Since 2012 Qualcomm Halo has been developing their charging system that’s currently used by the Formula E electric race series. They can transfer up to 22kW of power, which is in line with what rapid public chargers are offering.BMW plans to sell a wireless charging pad for the 530e iPerformance hybrid. It will take 3.5 hours to fully charge the car and works by connecting your home’s power outlet. Drivers can simply park the vehicle when they are home – no need to plug it in.
Another major player is Plugless, the most advanced wireless charging system for public use to date. A unit needs to be installed on the underside of your car that receives power from a Plugless Parking Pad. These pads are sprinkled all around the states to take advantage of.