Electric Vehicle Charging Innovations That Will Support Green Transportation
The automotive industry is gradually evolving and is becoming greener everyday. But for the world to reach net zero emissions in 2050, the share of electric vehicle sales should reach 60% by 2030, and sales of internal combustion engine cars should be banned, according to the IEA. As the world embraces electric vehicle transportation, there’s a need for regulatory policies that support installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Besides the high buying cost of electric cars, a lack of charging stations, especially fast chargers, has been a key barrier to the adoption of EVs. To encourage the adoption of electric cars, automakers, governments, and private investors plan to deploy innovative EV chargers. Below are some of the electric vehicle charging innovations that will support green transportation.
Charging an electric car requires one to park their vehicle and wait for the battery to charge. But a Swedish project pilot is exploring the possibility of charging EVs while driving on electric roads. The state-funded project has installed electric rails in the tarmac of 1.25 mile roadway near Stockholm. Ideally, the electrified road charges an EV when it passes over the electric rail.
A moveable arm fixed on the vehicle detects the electric rail position in the tarmac and the car charges automatically. This infrastructure works like trams or trolleys, but the car charges through a conductive feed below the road and not through an overhead line. Electric roads offer benefits like cleaner fuel, as they support the use of renewable energy like wind, solar, and hydropower, and boost efficiency. But like any new technology, electric road charging systems are expensive to install.
Wireless EV Charging
When shopping for electric vehicles, buyers are keen on how far they can travel on a single charge and where they can charge their vehicles quickly. EV owners are also worried about forgetting their charging cables. To reduce range anxiety and ensure those who forget their plug-in cables charge their vehicles with ease, car makers and investors are deploying wireless chargers.
Wireless electric car charging technology works by transferring electric power through magnetic fields using an inductive charging system. A magnetic coil in the wireless charger beneath the road surface transfers electricity through the air gap to another coil fitted underneath the car. For charging to take place, you need to park your car where the wireless charger is installed. Apart from eliminating the need to carry charging cables, wireless chargers are compatible. This means you can charge any EV model wirelessly and the entire process is simple.
Currently, charging an EV can take up to four hours. Even rapid EV chargers require you to wait for at least half an hour. Researchers at Penn State University claim that they have developed a lithium iron phosphate battery that can recharge in less than 10 minutes. Thanks to its thermal modulating ability, lithium iron phosphate batteries have a long life cycle and recharge faster than existing lithium-ion batteries. The battery can heat up to 140 degrees when charging and discharging. It also cools down when not working. These aspects make self-heating batteries ideal for reducing range anxiety.
Electric vehicles are the future of green transportation, but a lack of sufficient charging infrastructure is stalling mass adoption of electrified mobility. However, the increasing need to decarbonize the transport sector is promoting innovations of EV chargers. Innovative electric vehicle charging stations available include wireless charging systems, electrified roads, and self-heating batteries.