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Inductive charging: a boost for electric mobility?

Inductive charging is one of the latest developments to spark global interest in the world of electric mobility. The concept sounds as simple as it is attractive – simply drive your vehicle over a charging plate, and it starts charging itself. This not only eliminates the hassle of manually plugging your vehicle into a charging station, but even authentication could be done by the vehicle itself.The advantages inductive charging offers are numerous. Consumers will never forget to charge their vehicles, leading to reduced range anxiety and inspiring additional faith in the possibilities of electric vehicles – especially now vehicle ranges are increasing at such a rapid pace. This even has advantages for plug-in hybrid drivers, who would increase the amount driven electrically and can therefore reduce costs as well as emissions.

Additionally, the fact that charging will become effortless means that charging even for small periods of time, for example while shopping, will become a reality. This increases the efficiency with which battery energy is used, meaning that battery sizes for electric vehicles – and especially for electric busses -could be decreased while retaining the same effective range on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, being connected to the grid more often means that charging is spread out more over the course of the day, reducing the strain on the grid and creating more possibilities for supplying energy back to the grid in times of need.

While inductive charging technology is far from new – it was already demonstrated in the 19th century – it had always been held back by two factors: efficiency and the capacity at which power was transferred. However, development in both areas has accelerated rapidly over the past few years. Efficiencies of up to 94% have been demonstrated, as well as charging capacities of 200 kW. While only one system is currently commercially available, multiple different systems are set to be released within the next few years. Development has been undertaken by different types of players, from large automotive firms such as BMW and Toyota, to electronics producers like Siemens and smaller start-ups focused around the concept.

At DNV GL we have been involved in multiple projects related to inductive charging. We helped our customers with innovation, technology and strategy development by market research, developing concepts, standardization, and providing electromagnetic safety. Check this slide deck for a complete overview of our EV capabilities.

If you are interested to learn more about electric mobility charging infrastructure, join our course on this topic. The next one will already take place on February 14th, there are still a few seats available. We can also provide exclusive in-house courses, for example to kick off or accelerate electric mobility projects in your organization.

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