Some car makers are already announcing the death of diesel engines and their replacement by electric ones. As ideal as that might be from an economy and environment perspective, it’s still an untenable future, mostly because of problems with the ubiquity and spread of charging stations. If all goes well with this new development, however, that may no longer be a problem at all. Renault, Qualcomm, and Vedecom have successfully demonstrated a Kangaroo Z.E. that was able to charge wirelessly up to 20 kw, even while traveling at speeds of or more than 100 kilometers per hour.
This demonstration is just the latest example of dynamic wireless electric vehicle charging, or DEVC. As the name implies, the charging process happens even while you’re driving, in contrast to traditional charging methods that requires an electric car to be at a standstill or with the engine turned off.
DEVC presents two practical problems. One is trying to output high enough voltage to compensate for what the car is using up while simultaneously running and charging at the same time. The other is how to actually get that charge to the car itself without the need for cables.
Both are addressed by Qualcomm’s new Halo wireless DEVC technology, which allowed the delivery of up to 20 kilowatts of power to the Renault EV traveling over a special track. Even better, the track can charge more than one car traveling on it, without a degradation in output.
With a successful test run, Qualcomm’s DEVC will be turned over to French sustainability institute Vedecom, which, in turn, will perform more tests on behalf of the FABRIC project. Short for “FeAsiBility analysis and development of on-Road chargIng solutions for future electriC vehicles”, FABRIC is a European Union-backed effort to make wireless DEVC a sustainable method to truly make the promise of clean and green electric cars a reality.