May 17

Israeli Wireless Tech Could Lead to In-Road Charging For Electric Cars

 

By Jon LeSage

An electric bus demonstration project in Israel may show the feasibility of adopting wireless charging technology in other countries and vehicle types, including cars consumers may one day buy.

The Israeli government is working with ElectRoad, a local wireless charging technology company, to develop technology that can charge buses while in motion.

The test demonstration will take a while. The first round brought in a $120,000 for ElectRoad and a green light on going to the second phase of testing next year on a half-mile route in Tel Aviv. If that works out, the demonstration will go to the third phase on an 11-mile route between the city of Eilat and the Ramon International Airport.

There are different types of wireless charging systems being tried out in the world, one of them being inductive charging systems where passenger cars need to park over or close to a wireless charging unit. Another is the catenary cable system being tested by power management company Eaton for buses and trucks; one example of vehicles using a catenary system is San Francisco’s cable cars.

ElectRoad is using electromagnets tied to inverters placed on the side of the road providing power to copper plates embedded under the asphalt on roads. These points interact with copper plates mounted under the bus to produce the power.

In a promotional video that you can view below, ElectRoad shows a fictional report from 2030 where global warming has been circumvented by advanced electric vehicle technology – starting with wirelessly charged electric buses.

The bus will also get a backup batter to provide power beyond the magnetic strip. That provides power for short distances out of the inverter network, and can power acceleration in the bus.

The challenge here will be getting the time, personnel, and funding to place inverters alongside roads and copper plates embedded within the roads.

Another obstacle will be competing with battery technology, which is starting to see a ray of hope. The high cost is starting to come down; what used to be $1,000 per kilowatt hour in cost has come down lately to $200 to $300.

“What these auto manufacturers are finding when they’re getting into the $100-to-$200-per-kilowatt-hour range is these vehicles are really on parity with other vehicles,” said Dustin Grace, director of electric bus maker Proterra.

Range is increasing for these lithium-ion batteries as well, with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 being clear examples. Larger battery packs used in trucks and buses are also seeing improvements in distance per charge.

SEE ALSO:  Wireless Charging May Become Common Over the Next Four Years

There are advantages for those considering wireless charging powered electric vehicles of the future, including contributions to sustainability. Besides weaning vehicles off of fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions, the electric buses can also be producing extra power that can be used in the vehicle and elsewhere.

Oren Ezer, chief executive and co-founder of ElectRoad, said that the wireless system could be producing energy by feeding electricity from the bus braking system back into the grid.

Other advocates of wireless charging point to the convenience and extended range the technology can offer. Most major automakers are experimenting with wireless charging and plan to make it available on their plug-in vehicles in the near future. The question will be, which wireless charging systems will be the most logistically and economically feasible for vehicles of all types, shapes, and sizes?

Futurism, HybridCars.com

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

COMMENTS: 19


  1. 1
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    May 17th, 2017 (6:51 am)

    Most interesting to me is the vehicle to grid and vehicle to vehicle power sharing possibilities.

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  2. 2
    American First

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    May 17th, 2017 (9:06 am)

    I like this concept as a great alternative to station charging, even for the layperson who owns a BEV. If the cost comes down, then it would be economically feasible and practical to put wireless charging in garages and parking spots. And the EV battery size can be smaller.

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  3. 3
    Capt Bentley

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    May 17th, 2017 (9:33 am)

    For City Busses, induction Fast Charging at chosen stops along the route could be a cost effective option. The buses would need much smaller batteries than if a single charge had to take them through their entire routes. Multiple buses traveling the same route would all use the same chargers. Busses could be built with modular batteries to allow for the different distances between charging on various routes.

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  4. 4
    KNS

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    May 17th, 2017 (9:37 am)

    The additional inefficiency introduced by wireless charging, in my opinion, makes it undesirable. Toothbrushes are one thing but wireless charging of vehicle batteries would result in large scale waste. In a world in which generation is not entirely free of hydrocarbon combustion such waste would be counterproductive.

    KNS

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  5. 5
    Loboc

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    May 17th, 2017 (9:52 am)

    KNS,

    When electricity is the cheapest commodity (basically free), efficiency won’t be much of a concern. This will happen within 20 years. Maybe sooner. Electricity is already going negative cost in places like Germany.

    In addition, for fully autonomous vehicles, some sort of charging not requiring human/robotic intervention will be needed. Inductive charging fits that bill better than Musk’s snake.

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  6. 6
    Mark Z

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    May 17th, 2017 (10:16 am)

    The old buses of the mid 20th century used overhead wires to electrify. Now ElectRoad can make their plan a reality if the government is willing to approve the installation. It is a step in the right direction.

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  7. 7
    James

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    May 17th, 2017 (12:23 pm)

    I’ve always liked the idea of in-road charging for EVs. Especially if a groove for a plate or cable
    could be cut down the center of highways at night and covered during the day so not to
    disrupt daily traffic flow. I can see a plate system that is placed over the groove until
    everything is installed. The key is a low cost system that can be installed where traffic
    is heaviest.

    Major intersections where cars sit at traffic lights long enough to get a little
    charge while stationary would be most effective at first. Later on, naturally,
    miles and miles of driving on thoroughfares happily picking up a charge all
    along the way!

    Pay for it with a tax on EVs and PHEVs based on battery size with a goal
    of ending the various road use taxes imposed upon EVs such as the one
    in my state.

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  8. 8
    James

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    May 17th, 2017 (1:10 pm)

    OT:

    Prius safety issue.

    I’m wondering how John and Charlie H. will respond to this issue since the
    subject gets panned by Prius fans over at Priuschat.com. Mostly, people respond with: “Oh,
    that problem was with the ’04-’05 models and Toyota fixed it with an ECU update”, or “I think
    it’s the tires…”. Both of these answers are incorrect.

    I have a 2007 gen 2 Prius ( unfortunately ). The wife mostly drives it while I drive the Volt
    and my 1995 Toyota T100. She asked me to drive it the other day as we’ve had record
    rains and we had to drive 30 miles home in low traffic at 12:00 am with bad puddling in
    the wheel trenches in every lane. I pale at the thought of her driving home in such
    conditions in the Prius.

    Ever since we’ve owned the car we’ve experienced the infamous Prius traction control
    issue. You drive over a painted line, puddle or railroad track in the rain and it’s drive wheels
    slip, especially if you are on the throttle. This cuts power, resulting in sometimes
    dangerous situations. Toyota engineers say this protects their complex hybrid drive
    system. I say it causes very dangerous situations. People in Colorado and Minnesota say it makes Prius a lousy choice in snowy areas.

    My wife has complained on this issue, but myself as a male – I jot it down to her
    unwillingness to bend to the Prius HSD system and be careful. When I think about
    it – these cars should be engineered to accommodate everyone. In 10 years of owning
    this car, I’ve only had this situation happen to me a few times. Yet the other night
    in pouring rains on the freeway at night, it happened – traction control cutting off
    power whilst driving at 60 mph for 30 miles – about a half-dozen times. Each time
    we’d hit a particularly deep pool in the wheel trench of the lane, the power would
    cut off to the wheels, and the steering wheel would pull to the left or right.

    I generally drive with a strong grip on the wheel – but most people are lax on
    grip and I especially can see women not grab the wheel in time and have a major
    issue. Each time, the dashboard warning light comes on warning of reduced/cut
    power and each time I lost momentum. For one second, you think the car has
    stalled and you’re in deep poo poo. Then, your mind recovers and you know
    the HSD has cut power to the drive wheel temporarily and you feel the tug
    on the steering wheel, gently tugging back and hoping nobody behind you
    is too close ( or thinks you’re drunk ). I would slow down to 50 mph and look
    for the lane with the least water. At midnight, the low traffic just exacerbates
    the issue and this little Prius is weaving down it’s lane at 10 mph below the
    speed limit whilst ICE cars and semis try to blow me off the highway as I
    struggle to get home in the rain!

    A scary drive, no doubt, and one in which the Volt has zero problem accomplishing more safely.

    John and Charlie H – Why do Prius people on PriusChat defend the car with
    this issue? Why don’t you admit this is a serious and dangerous flaw with HSD?

    *** I would not buy a Prius product or Toyota Hybrid with HSD unless I can be assured this issue has effectively been solved.
    By this, I mean a detailed explanation by Toyota of how the later models do not have this issue and how they solved it. ***

    Here’s what Cars Direct.com says – Do you want to do this every time you get into your car when it’s raining?

    http://www.carsdirect.com/car-safety/how-to-disable-prius-traction-control

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  9. 9
    American First

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    May 17th, 2017 (1:36 pm)

    James,

    sorry to read your post. I have a 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid which has the newer HF35 transaxle and which is better than Toyota’s HSD system. Last week we had some heavy rain, and flooding was reported in some areas. I have crossed deep rain puddles in my Fusion with no slip or loss in traction. I never have to turn the “Traction Control” off. Maybe the reason I was safe is the heavier Fusion (over 4,000 pounds with just the driver) and my Goodyear tires with great traction rating, but I have seen many foreign cars slip and even get stalled in these puddles. Only the taller SUVs and heavy sedans such as mine can drive safer.

    Maybe Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid is a safer ride than the Prius if you still wish to drive a hybrid Toyota.

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  10. 10
    American First

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    May 17th, 2017 (1:44 pm)

    James:
    I’ve always liked the idea of in-road charging for EVs. Especially if a groove for a plate or cable
    could be cut down the center of highways at night and covered during the day so not to
    disrupt daily traffic flow. I can see a plate system that is placed over the groove until
    everything is installed. The key is a low cost system that can be installed where traffic
    is heaviest.

    This reminded me of my Aurora slot car racing days in my youth. I had to keep the brushes clean and groomed for every race.

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  11. 11
    American First

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    May 17th, 2017 (1:48 pm)

    Loboc:
    KNS,

    When electricity is the cheapest commodity (basically free), efficiency won’t be much of a concern. This will happen within 20 years. Maybe sooner. Electricity is already going negative cost in places like Germany.

    In addition, for fully autonomous vehicles, some sort of charging not requiring human/robotic intervention will be needed. Inductive charging fits that bill better than Musk’s snake.

    I agree 100%. Gasoline cars waste over 50% of that fuel’s energy as heat during every cylinder firing, so if we waste even 20% of the wireless charging energy as heat, we will still be much more efficient than any gas engine vehicle. And EVs carrying a smaller battery will be lighter, thus using less energy to move, too.

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  12. 12
    James

     

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    May 17th, 2017 (1:58 pm)

    American First:
    James,

    sorry to read your post. I have a 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid which has the newer HF35 transaxle and which is better than Toyota’s HSD system. Last week we had some heavy rain, and flooding was reported in some areas. Ihave crossed deep rain puddles in my Fusion with no slip or loss in traction. I never have to turn the “Traction Control” off. Maybe the reason I was safe is the heavier Fusion (over 4,000 pounds with just the driver) and my Goodyear tires with great traction rating, but I have seen many foreign cars slip and even get stalled in these puddles. Only the taller SUVs and heavy sedans such as mine can drive safer.

    Maybe Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid is a safer ride than the Prius if you still wish to drive a hybrid Toyota.

    Thanks.

    I have no desire to drive a crossover SUV.

    I call SUVs “tall station wagons”, and believe Americans and now Europeans and Chinese
    are being duped by clever marketers into buying these inefficient vehicles. An MPV,
    or “minivan” ( not so mini anymore ) as we call them, is much more efficient in
    hauling families and goods than any SUV. The vast majority of people never drive
    their SUV or CUV off road.

    I’m glad to hear Ford’s version of HSD is superior. I have never heard of this issue
    in regards to a Ford. I don’t think it’s the tires, as my Bridgestone Ecopias are
    a common buy on LEAFs and hybrids alike. Haven’t seen any mention online of low traction in adverse conditions. They are pretty grippy and don’t
    hydroplane easily.

    NPNS – if it aint got a plug, I aint interested…. 🙂

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  13. 13
    Dave - Phoenix

     

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    May 17th, 2017 (4:00 pm)

    It is becoming more and more apparent that the US is not the leader in EV implementation.

    The US is becoming a follower….

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  14. 14
    Jackson

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    May 17th, 2017 (4:17 pm)

    Loboc: When electricity is the cheapest commodity (basically free), efficiency won’t be much of a concern. This will happen within 20 years.

    How will this happen? Renewable energy? It’ll help. But it can’t do the whole, huge job of powering the grid in 2037. We’ve heard some positive news about fusion (particularly Lockheed Martin’s compact fusion; but even with a commercially viable design next week, it could still take 20 years to achieve any significant inroads due to the slow attrition of current energy generators. Also, you could only build fusion generators at a certain pace set by economics, resources, and skilled manpower; so it could be decades before the numbers begin to ramp up. There is a certain amount of inertia involved in such a large scale replacement program (This applies to renewables too).

    I accept your overall idea, and agree with American First‘s points; but I don’t believe electricity will be “essentially free” within the lifetime of anyone reading. JMO.

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  15. 15
    Steve

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    May 17th, 2017 (4:31 pm)

    We can’t seem to maintain the roads and bridges we already have. hold my breath waiting for something like this to be commonplace.

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  16. 16
    Steve

     

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    May 17th, 2017 (4:36 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    Most interesting to me is the vehicle to grid and vehicle to vehicle power sharing possibilities.

    Why would I want to put more cycles on my vehicle battery to put energy back into the grid? What’s in it for me?

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  17. 17
    Eco_Turbo

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    May 17th, 2017 (6:32 pm)

    Steve,

    Well, hopefully you would get paid for it, making the right pedal cost money, and the left pedal make money. Biggest effect would be from the buses, saving some of the energy when they stop almost every block. If this becomes ubiquitous, cars will need smaller batteries as well, meaning they will be fully charged more often while you’re driving around, and needing a place for your regen energy to go.

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  18. 18
    American First

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    May 17th, 2017 (7:34 pm)

    James:

    I’m glad to hear Ford’s version of HSD is superior. I have never heard of this issue
    in regards to a Ford.

    The first HF35 was made August 2012 and is still being manufactured in Michigan.
    http://www.fordinsidenews.com/forums/3-ford-corporate-news/7551-hybrid-energi-hf35-transmission-production-starts.html?action=thread
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13vLm35E6uM

    You can see and hear for yourself about the HF35 transaxle by watching the Weber Auto video that explains all the famous hybrid transaxles from the Aisin HD-10 used in the first gen Escape to the HF35 used in newer Ford and Lincolns (at 12:10): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHU5xFOBcsU
    This transaxle allows the Ford vehicles to run up to 85 MPH in EV mode if the battery has enough charge to do so. I have driven my Fusion Hybrid up to 65 MPH in EV mode this week, but I cannot go faster due to the speed limits and lack of a road that allows me to do it.

    The Gen 1 Volt’s 4ET50 is in another video. I guess that they have also did a video on the 5ET50 for the Gen 2 Volt.

    If the Fusion Energi had a bigger plug-in battery with a EV range over 35 miles, it would be the best domestic competition to the Chevy Volt.

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  19. 19
    Dakster

     

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    May 18th, 2017 (2:39 am)

    No clue on how long at our current rate it would take, but every day solar panels and wind power generators, hydro power generators are being put into service. That is a step towards fossil free power generation. Some countries are already there too and I would expect that as time goes on the rate of adoption will increase. Also, better batteries are coming out as we all know that the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine so you need a way to store the power when it does.

    One way to get people into the mainstream EV buyers is to make “refueling” as effortless as possible and charging while driving is certainly about the most effortless way to do that. Since backroads and rural areas will be the last place to get in road charging, a decent battery range will be required for a long time as well.

    I wish the Israeli companies the best – I hope it works out well and it can be adopted globally.

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