Electric cars are already produced by some car makers as series models. However, one of their drawbacks is the recharging process that usually takes a lot of time and needs to connect to an outlet. This could soon be overcome, thanks to a method for recharging electric cars wireless.
HaloIPT, a UK company that has installed the technology, has already tested it on a Citroen C1 model.
“The charging is done wirelessly, you park up, turn off the key and voila… charging starts automatically,” says Anthony Thomson, chief executive of HaloIPT.
The process uses electromagnetic induction to transfer energy from a pad fixed in the ground to another one positioned under the car. The system can be easily installed in supermarket car parks or garages. When the driver parks the car the two supports align and with just the touch of a button recharging starts.
The electromagnetic induction was discovered by British physicist Michael Faraday in 1831. His discovery showed that if the two flaps are positioned very close to each other and an electric current is applied to one of them, it gives rise to a magnetic field. When a car needs to be charged, the two are embedded inside the flaps.
The system was developed by the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and marketed by HaloIPT.
Company officials are optimistic about the success of the project and are confident that recharging stations will be soon installed in most major cities.
Two Italian cities, Genoa and Turin, have been benefiting from a series of buses functioning on the wireless system since 2002.
The special pads have been incorporated into the pavement at certain bus stops to charge vehicles.
“The buses have signs that they are electric, and people say that they like the experience – the buses are a lot smoother than diesel ones,” says Mathias Wechlin from Conductix-Wampfler, a German company that currently licenses the technology.
Wechlin explained that during the charging people sit inside the bus, which he says is absolutely safe since the magnetic field is produced within the limits recommended the International Commission on non-ionizing radiation protection (ICNIRP).