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Continental AG will use the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to launch a new wireless charging system, capable of delivering one kilometre of range per minute.

The inductive charging technology is fitted with a micro-navigation system, which uses magnets to position the car ten-times more accurately than conventional park guidance systems. Even if the charging pad is covered by water, snow or grime, the location system is able to move the driver into place and automatically start charging.

According to the company, the charge system is 90 per cent efficient, and delivers 20km of range for every 20 minutes of charging. The system is designed for installation in shopping centres, or public carparks, and could be combined with a smart-logistics system to, in future, move autonomous cars from charge pads when they’re topped up, allowing the space to be more efficiently used.

Along with the wireless charging system, the Continental CES stand will be home to something called AllCharge. Power comes from the grid in alternating current (AC) form, before being converted in the direct current (DC) to charge the battery. That conversion can take place at the charging station, or using an on-board charger.

Continental says setting up a DC charge station is expensive, while size and weight make it hard to support genuine fast charging with on-board units.

To work around this catch-22, the company has taken a new approach: rather than using the charge station or an on-board charger to convert AC to DC, it uses the components of the electric powertrain itself.

AllCharge feeds power from the charge station into the car’s inverter, through the electric motor. The only additional component is a DC/DC converter, which makes sure power is flowing into the battery at the correct voltage.

In an ideal scenario, the system will allow drivers to use any cable-based charge station. Because AC speeds aren’t held back by the size of the on-board charging system, the AllCharge setup opens the door for AC stations that offer 50km of range in just 10 minutes.

Continental also says the setup opens the door for 400-volt DC fast charging stations, able to deliver 150km of range in just 10 minutes. Production is set to start in 2022.

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