American company Momentum Dynamics and its Swedish-Chinese partner CEVT combine autonomy and inductive charging.
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We usually talk about electric vehicles (EVs) as vehicles that need plugging in. But wireless charging pads are also being used commercially, and have great potential.

One issue with these pads, though, is that they are traditionally unable to charge as quickly. Another is that a receiving vehicle’s underbody charging plates must be precisely aligned to receive airborne charge.

To that end, American company Momentum Dynamics and its Swedish-Chinese partner CEVT (a subsidiary of Volvo’s parent Geely) this week demonstrated high-power wireless charging on a passenger vehicle with autonomous parking.

The publicity initiative featured a passenger car with CEVT’s latest sensor-based automatic parking systems like those featured on many road cars, which communicated with “real-time alignment feedback” from a charging pad supplied by Momentum Dynamics.

The charging pad providing this parking guidance can charge at a rate of 65kW, though in this test operated at 40kW. For context a typical DC cable-charger operates at 50kW, while an AC wallbox runs at either 7.4kW or 22kW.

“Using Momentum Dynamics' real-time alignment feedback and CEVT's automatic parking capabilities, the vehicle was able to automatically maneuver and stop within the alignment tolerance in every test and then begin to charge automatically,” said a statement.

“This technology provides an effective solution for the charging of vehicles without the need for human interaction.”

According to Momentum, the next phase of development is to advance this technology into other vehicle types and use cases, including fleets, garages, forecourts, and other public charging locations.

“Wireless charging has clear applications in distributed fleet situations such as last-mile delivery: it is important for fleet efficiency that autonomous delivery vehicles can continue in service while automatically charging in strategic locations, without the need for a person or complex robot to dock the vehicle to a cable-based charging port,” it added.

Supplied: Momentum Dynamics, in reference to an ongoing trial using a BYD bus

“This demonstration highlights autonomous parking combined with high-power autonomous charging in a commercially-available vehicle.”

In transit bus applications, Momentum's system has been proven through years of service at effective power levels of over 200kW and the system is capable of delivering 450kW.

"Automatic wireless charging is the inevitable future of EV charging,” claims Momentum Dynamics CEO Andrew Daga said.

“No other system can match the efficiency, cost effectiveness and convenience of truly hands-free high-power wireless charging, where no human or mechanical interaction between the charger and the vehicle is required."

You can read more about wireless charging here.