No cables, no waiting: charging e-cars while driving

February 10, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
No cables, no waiting: charging e-cars while driving
Wireless charging of electric vehicles while driving has been discussed as a theoretical possibility for some time. The eCharge research project of the Technical University of Braunschweig is now to sound out the practical feasibility.

Despite rising sales figures, the mass acceptance of electric mobility still suffers from a patchy charging infrastructure. This is where the eCharge project comes in: Inductive energy transfer while driving could both reduce battery costs and improve the charging infrastructure. The goal is therefore to develop a system for inductive charging based on infrastructure-integrated induction modules in asphalt roads.

"When a road is newly built or renewed, the coils are installed at a depth of about ten centimetres and covered with an asphalt surface layer so that they are not visible from the outside," explains Professor Michael Wistuba from the Institute of Road Engineering at TU Braunschweig. "Only at the roadside, cables are led out of the road at a distance of 1.65 metres, bundled and led into a management unit at intervals of about 90 metres. These communicate with the vehicles via the coils and switch sections of the road on or off as required."

If the system is successful, it is planned to build so-called e-corridors of 25 kilometres in length at regular intervals on motorways, for example. According to Wistuba, they could achieve a range extension of up to 20% per corridor.

In addition to road construction solutions for new and existing roads, the project team also intends to develop options for reliable billing procedures and an economical operation of the system.

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