Testing and planning for roads with built-in wireless charging infrastructure continues, with news this month of a successful test in France, and grander plans in Israel.
The French test road includes a 100m track with underlying wireless charging technology. It’s claimed the infrastructure can supply a charge of up to 20kW for vehicles travelling up to and in excess of 100km/h.
The track was built by Vedecom, the French government’s Public-Private Institute for Vehicle Decarbonisation and Communication, in Versailles, just outside of Paris.
Charging equipment for both the track and the Renault Kangoo ZE test vehicles was developed by Qualcomm. During the demonstration test, the electric vans successfully received charge when running in either direction along the test track.
This track and the surrounding research is being conducted as part of the 9 million euro ($13 million) FABRIC (FeAsiBility analysis and development of on-Road chargIng solutions for future electriC vehicles) project, which is partially funded by the EU.
Israeli startup company Electroad has secured a US$120,000 ($160,000) grant from the Israeli government, and permission to build a test installation on about a kilometre of public road in Tel Aviv.
This stretch of road is due to open in 2018, and will test out the durability of the Electroad’s technology under real world conditions.
If everything pans out well, the company will be given permission and funds to build out its technology along an 18km long busway between Eilat and Ramon International Airport.
Although the price of electric vehicle battery packs is falling, Oren Ezer, the company’s co-founder, told Scientific American Electroad’s initial focus will be electric buses and driving down the cost of EV infrastructure for governments.
Ezer claims buses on roads equipped with wireless electric charging will require smaller battery packs, which will be used primarily to help with acceleration and travelling on patches of road without built-in charging infrastructure.
Additionally these batteries will last much longer, potentially up to 25 years, as they will be used less frequently and will be less stressed during regular driving.