Motorists buying new electric vehicles (EVs) could benefit from recharging their cars using easy and convenient wireless charging technology in 10 years, reports Go Ultra Low – the government and auto industry-backed communications body. Together with existing cost-saving benefits and the great driving experience, the ever extending range of electric vehicles and ease of wireless charging will help drive the inevitable transition to zero emission motoring.
Insight from the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)* and future plans from Go Ultra Low’s eight vehicle manufacturers inform the campaign group’s prediction that future generations of battery-powered vehicles could have the ability to charge wirelessly while parked at homes or workplaces. With improvements in battery technology resulting in ever-increasing range for electric cars, motorists in 10 years could be buying EVs capable of driving for miles on end, without the driver having to plug in or fill up.
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low said: “As technology progresses at a rapid rate, electric vehicles will soon be a natural choice for new car buyers as the cost and convenience of these cars will overshadow every other choice on the market. Electric cars are already suited to a huge proportion of the UK motoring population, offering the most cost effective, environmentally-friendly and easiest-to-drive option - it’s tomorrow’s technology today.”
Experts at TRL claim that in future wireless charging for electric vehicles could be commonplace on driveways across the UK, and at taxi ranks and bus stations. The technology used in wireless charging has been in development for a number of years and, in addition to being used in consumer electronic devices today, is already being trialled for buses** and cars around the world.
Denis Naberezhnykh, Head of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle Technology at TRL said: “Wireless charging will add convenience to the long list of reasons why it makes so much sense to drive an electric car. Wireless technology offers comparable recharging times and so in the future charging an EV could become as simple as parking on the driveway.”
Charging infrastructure is continually improving, and can already facilitate even the longest journeys, while expected improvements in battery production technologies could allow the typical range of an electric vehicle to double within the next five years, enabling EV drivers to travel further, for longer as a result. By 2025, TRL says this average range will likely be increased even more with a typical EV’s likely range around 300 miles.
By 2050 wireless charging and battery capacities are expected to increase so much that the act of ‘refuelling’ as we know it will cease to exist. This aim ties in with government’s aim for all cars on the road to have zero emissions at the tailpipe by this time.
TRL suggests that in years to come, while wireless charging is phased in, owners of plug-in electric cars will continue to be able to use the existing infrastructure or could opt to cost-effectively add wireless capabilities to their existing cars.