One of the biggest concerns over electric vehicles has always been the lack of charging infrastructure. While the number of public charging stations is increasing, car owners want the practicality and convenience of home charging points. Yet, for many homes such as flats or terrace houses, this is simply not possible and therefore an EV is not a workable option for a lot of drivers.
To help address the issue of accessible charging facilities, wireless charging technology is quickly being developed. The aim of this technology is to allow car owners to charge their EV’s wirelessly at the roadside. This eliminates the need to trail cables across pavements or spend long periods of time at car park charging stations.
Connected Kerb – a company specialising in charging infrastructure and EV technology – will soon trial a new induction charging system. Induction charging pads work the same way as wireless mobile phone chargers but on a much larger scale. A vehicle will park along the roadside, or in a parking spot, over an induction pad which is sunk into the ground. A current is then generated to charge the electric car battery.
Traditional charging methods have raised issues of health and safety in recent years as cables running from cars to the nearest charging point become trip hazards. On the other hand, induction charging promises to look less cluttered, while also providing drivers with a more convenient and simpler way to charge their greener vehicles.
Yet, despite the pros of wireless charging, it’s not as simple as parking over a pad fitted to the ground. Most electric cars don’t currently feature induction charging. If this tech is to become widely used, carmakers will need to retrofit current EV models with charging kits, or design new models which are compatible with wireless charging.
Chris Pateman-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Connected Kerb commented “Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly including induction charging technology in their new models but at present, there are only a handful of induction-enabled electric vehicle charge points. We aim to change that.
“Induction charging will become the norm over the coming few years, and for good reason: It’s comparable in performance to traditional charging, however, it’s more convenient and even more simple.”
The trial, run by Connected Kerb, will test induction technology in Greater London, the Midlands and Scotland this spring. Induction pads will be available on residential streets, car parks and even taxi ranks. Depending on the outcome and demand for this type of charging tech, car manufacturers may become more motivated to feature induction charging capabilities within their next EV.