Cleveland, Ohio – If the auto industry is going to switch from internal combustion engines to electric drive, someone is going to have to pick up the extra costs. Most of the business models have focused on consumers carrying that expense by paying more for electric vehicles (EVs) with massive batteries or fuel cells.
Automakers have floated the idea of having utility companies pay for the batteries and lease them to customers, lowering the up-front costs of cars and generating new revenue for those selling electricity, but those concepts haven’t developed quickly.
Cell phone processor and technology company Qualcomm Inc. has proposed another solution – EVs with small batteries that can draw their power from the electric chargers embedded in roads. Such as system would shift the massive expensive of electric infrastructure from consumers to governments, but it would solve many of the technical issues facing EVs.
The company recently tested the system in France, simultaneously feeding 20kW into the batteries of two Renault Kangoo vans traveling at highways speeds. The test used Qualcomm’s Halo wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) system, an experimental system it has proposed for moving-vehicle charging or for installation in parking lots for parked EV charging.
Steve Pazol, vice president and general manager, wireless charging, Qualcomm says, “The combination of a global team of expert engineers and Qualcomm Halo technology, which covers all aspects of WEVC systems, irrespective of the magnetics used, has enabled us to really push the boundaries of the possible and outline our vision for future urban mobility."
The charging demonstrations took place at the 100m FeAsiBility analysis and development of on-Road charging solutions for future electriC vehicles (FABRIC) test track in France run by Vedecom, a public-private partnership that promotes green automotive technologies.
Continued testing by Vedecom at Fabric will evaluate the operation, safety, and efficiency of energy transfer to the vehicles for a wide range of practical scenarios including vehicle identification and authorization on entering track, power level agreement between track and vehicle, speed and alignment of vehicle along track.
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 17 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.