Genesis has started trialing its electric vehicle wireless charging technology in South Korea, as it looks forward to shaping the EV charging industry in the future. The electric vehicle manufacturer announced that its GV60 and Electrified GV70 car fleets are currently used in the pilot program.
So far, Genesis has commissioned 23 wireless charging pads across the county, with some installed at its studios. The system encompasses a ‘power control station’ similar to the common public charging point power supply unit in addition to a ‘base pad’ installed on the ground—and with an output capacity of 11kW.
Genesis is not the only company trialing wireless charging for electric vehicles, companies like BMW and Porsche are also working on prototypes that may hit the market in the future.
However, according to Car Magazine, the GV60 model of wireless charging includes a dedicated pad, which charges the car wirelessly, and a parking-based software used to guide the driver over the pad.
Experts at Car Magazine, who attended a demonstration of the GV60 in Genesis Suji studio in Seoul said that drivers could start the charging process while inside the car.
When Will Genesis Rollout Wireless Charging To The Public
Despite the ongoing pilot scheme, Marc Choi, Genesis’ Head of Product says he is not quite certain the technology is ready for a wider release. He added that the company does not wish to push into the market “a half-complete product.”
“The intention was to expand into a public-purchased product but we felt that, without meeting government regulation, we didn’t want to introduce a half-complete product into the market,” Choi told Car Magazine.
The company will instead, focus on increasing the capacity of the wireless charging pad and subsequently the speed. As previously stated, the current technology operates at 11 kilowatts, which is relatively sluggish when compared to other competitors in the sector.
“One of the key things we want to focus on is the speed; we’re currently maxing out at 11kW, which we feel is too slow, so we want to wait until it becomes faster for it to be mass-adopted,” Choi continued.
Various companies across the world are also exploring the technology with Volvo’s pilot program reaching “speeds of 40kW already.
Volvo’s Wireless EV Charging Trial with Cabonline
In 2021 Volvo started a trial program for its new wireless EV charging technology in Gothenburg. The car manufacturer signed a partnership with Cabonline, one of the largest taxi operators in the Nordic area for a small portion of its XC40s electric fleet.
The taxi operator agreed to use Volvo wireless charging pads for more than three years, allowing the company to monitor the system and assess its potential in a real-world scenario.
As expected, the EV wireless charging technology does not require cable connectors. Drivers can charge their vehicles by parking over the charging pad, where electric energy will be transferred to the battery park utilizing an inductive charging system—the same way a smartphone wireless charger works.
Volvo claims that its wireless EV charging technology is far much superior, four times faster than the normal cable connector with a capacity of 11kW. The company says it can achieve a 40kW capacity, whose speeds, according to Car Magazine, are not far from a wired 50kW DC rapid charge.
With that in mind, the XC40 taxis are expected to move the car battery from 20 to 80% capacity in slightly over 60 minutes.
Are There Other Players?
Affirmative. Not long ago the city of Nottingham received a $4.2 million grant from the government to conduct a trial program to power the taxis using wireless charging pads. Newer versions of the range-extender cabs will have a wireless charging kit installed in them to take advantage of different charging pads scattered across the city.
The city administration will start by installing induction loops at selected taxi ranks, making the process seamless for cabbies, as they can load up on charge while waiting for their fare. Nottingham City has decided to test the system with 10 vehicles installed with the hardware, with an option to extend the trial period.
The city’s council hopes to address the issue of rising emissions and bring down demand for roadside charging cables as part of an effort to speed up the transition to widespread electrification.
EV Wireless Charging Explained
Car manufacturers are in a race to increase battery size specifications and as a result, extend the range of their EVs. Newer electric vehicles released into the market don updated and efficient powertrains.
The next frontier in the EV charging market is the ultra-fast charging system fronted by some manufacturers like Porsche with their Porsche Taycan as the flag bearer. At the moment, customers are interested in EVs that can charge faster and achieve a longer range.
“The real solution to range anxiety could have nothing to do with the range at all; it could be solved by wireless charging,” Car Magazine wrote in their latest report.
While this is not a straightforward kind of thinking, it certainly envisions a future supported by the ease of use.
As the industry awaits gradual advancements in battery cells and the potential emergence of solid-state technology, firms like Qualcomm are convinced that wireless charging, akin to what’s found in current smartphones, could be the game-changer in addressing range anxiety.
Qualcomm is taking a different approach to electric vehicle charging, as they believe the future lies in continuous, wireless top-ups rather than fewer, faster sessions.
This innovative perspective involves implementing wireless charging through garage floors and even motorways capable of powering vehicles while in motion. Furthermore, this transformative method of power management could potentially change the entire electric vehicle charging landscape.
The wireless EV charging technology is not different from that of a high-end smartphone device. However, Qualcomm scales up the technology to support higher-capacity battery charging used in the automotive industry.
“It relies on resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy between a pad on the ground, and another under the floor of a compatible EV,” Car Magazine explains adding. “The charging pad is around a meter square, while the car’s receiving pad is enclosed in a smaller, dinner dish-sized device under the car. Once the two are aligned, charging can take place at 3.3kW, 6.6kW, or 20kW speeds.”
Does Wireless EV Charging Work?
Car Magazine tested two versions of Qualcomm’s Halo tech, both of which are installed in the Formula E Safety Car and Medical car. The former is the consistently developed version while the latter refers to an early beta version. They did that to test the impact of wear and tear.
The process of charging an electric car using a wireless charging pad is not that complicated. Car Magazine learned at the ePrix Paris that users would have access to a smartphone app, equipped with intuitive graphics that make it easier to align both pads. The process will not start unless the pads are aligned.
Users might already be interacting with Qualcomm’s Halo tech but may never know because when used in other cars, the technology would be presented in OEM apps or the car’s infotainment system, branded with the name of the car manufacturer.
Car manufacturers are expected to customize Qualcomm’s Halo technology to meet their needs.
Once the alignment process has been completed, charging starts as soon as the car’s ignition is in the off position.
At the ePrix, charging was at 20kW, obviously not as fast as systems from leading car manufacturers like Tesla, Audi, and Porsche, which can achieve impressive speeds, but the use case, in this case, is entirely different.
Qualcomm’s Halo technology is equipped with safety measures that automatically turn off the system if any foreign objects are detected between the charging pads. In such a case, the system notifies the EV owner to ensure that the connection is secured.
How Soon Is Wireless Charging Rolling Out In The Market?
At the moment, Qualcomm has partnered with Formula E to develop and even advertise the company’s wireless EV charging tech but intends to roll it out for use on roadworthy vehicles in two years.
Car manufacturers currently use Qualcomm’s Halo technology under a license but this might change soon following the firm’s recent two-tier wins, which are likely to push it into the market via OEM in less than 24 months.
Although Qualcomm is focusing on static wireless charging, there are plans to improve the technology to work for moving vehicles too—and this is where we expect a paradigm shift. Charging while in motion is described as dynamic charging, set to revolutionize the EV industry forever.
With dynamic wireless charging, EV car manufacturers will not need to increase the battery capacity to increase the range. Cars would be installed with a small battery for patchier infrastructure.
According to Qualcomm, fast charging is still a viable option, and electric vehicle owners will likely use a combination of both fast-cabled and wireless charging in the future.
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