Renault Kangoo ZE making run down FABRIC test track in France
Renault Kangoo ZE making run down FABRIC test track in France

Qualcomm: EV Charging on the Run

By Bill Moore

Qualcomm's Halo Wireless Charging GM Steve Pazol was still recovering from jet lag after flying from France back to California when EV World's Bill Moore got to talk to him about their dynamic charging tests with Renault, showing it's possible to charge EVs at highway speeds.

If there were a way to power electric vehicles while they were moving, it could have enormous payoffs. Suddenly all concerns over range anxiety and finding working available charging stations would vanish. Additionally, electric cars wouldn't need as many batteries, dramatically reducing their cost. Instead of 80-90kWh packs costing many thousands of dollars, they could get by with small, less expensive ones for those times when they didn't have access to a wireless charging highway, like that illustrated below.

Wireless Highways England

Qualcomm and Renault demonstrated its feasible to charge electric vehicles moving at highway speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph) at a small 100 m (328 ft) test track outside of Paris. A pair of Renault Kangoo EV parcel vans equipped with a pair of inductive coils underneath their frames made multiple runs down the specially engineered track that technicians assembled as part of a €9m project mostly funded by the European Commission to explore the "technological feasibility, economic viability, and socio-environmental sustainability" of wireless dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC).

FABRIC test track

Qualcomm isn't the only group researching in-road wireless charging. The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology deployed a similar system called OLEV in South Korea in 2013 to charge two electric buses providing transit services between the train station in Gumi and the town of In-dong.

As you, no doubt, can imagine, while it's now technically feasible to wirelessly charge EVs moving down a road or highway, as opposed to "statically" charging them, which Pazol says will first shortly appear in a Mercedes model, cost is a huge barrier. He sees real world implementation being yet sometime in the future. In this 27-minute interview he discusses the challenges still facing DEVC and where it might first be deployed.

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Times Article Viewed: 8598
Originally published: 01 Jun 2017


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