Apple EV Charging Work Heating Up With Recent Hires?

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A number of recent hires at Apple make it appear that the company has begun putting further resources into the development of electric vehicle charging technology.

For what purpose, though? Will it be for use by the electric vehicle (EV) that the company is essentially known to be developing? Or as a stand-alone product (some sort of “smart” charger, no doubt)?

Apple car loading

The recent hires include: Rónán Ó Braonáin, a former BMW employee who worked on the integration of charging infrastructure and home energy/generation systems; Kurt Adelberger, an EV charging expert; and Nan Liu, an engineer specializing in wireless charging technology for EVs.

Gas2 provides more:

It is an open secret that Apple is exploring opportunities in the electric vehicle market. Its profits fell for the first time in 13 years in the first quarter of 2016.

…Some in the industry think Apple may be planning to market its own brand of EV chargers. Like all Apple products, they would feature cutting edge technology and styling. Motorists would have a choice of recharging at some generic charging station with unknown performance metrics or an Apple charger that is known to offer the fastest, most reliable charging available.

Would Apple build its own stand alone facilities to compete with Tesla’s Supercharger network? Or is Apple simply following Tesla’s lead and planning to offer customers for its electric car their own dedicated charging network?

Fortune’s coverage included a note by an unnamed source that at least one major global engineering and construction firm has “offered its services to Apple.” Who knows how serious to take the anonymous comment, though.

Image by ANBerlin (some rights reserved)

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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13 thoughts on “Apple EV Charging Work Heating Up With Recent Hires?

  • Whireless Charging would be a quantum leap in charging comfort. But would appl offer it as a plug-in for third party manufacturers and service providers or have it in their own cars?
    What would be the business model?

    • That’s a lot of EM radiation, that also comes at a cost of lost efficiency.

      I’d like to see tests on rats, dogs and cats, likely to sleep in the nice warm space between transmission loop and receiver.

      Even if it’s only 5% lossy, people work really hard to make solar panels 5% more efficient. It’s like: “thanks for your efforts mate – we’ll take that – and toss it away”.

      • Looking around getting loses down to 10% is considered very good. But the idea is the easy is worth it. Would you pour 10% gas on ground to save not touching the hose? Or pay 10% more? As for in public, putting them in the pavement of public parking spots? Again, I’m not feeling it. For loses the simplest approach is to have it sense your car above it and rise up to the car, the lose is a function of distance. Plate to plate touch would still lose more than a plug, but much less than a 4-6 inch gap.

        • One company is claiming zero loss with wireless charging. The 10% loss is what would be experienced with direct cable charging, heat generated inside the batteries during charging.

          I’m waiting for independent lab confirmation before I believe…..

          That said, gas is a lot more expensive than electricity. Given that EVs are likely to get charged with <10 cent electricity giving up a few percent, if that's necessary, would be a small cost that many would be willing to pay.

          13,000 miles, 0.34 kWh per mile, 4,420 kWh/year.

          4,420 kWh, 10c/kWh, $442 per year.

          10% loss, $44.20/year, 12c/day.

  • since 2 years Apple is pregnent, we hope it let down the child

  • We’re gonna see no significant EV sales volumes until 350 kW wireless chargers are deployed and intended for wide audience accessibility and running.

    • Bull.

    • I do see a need for the 350kW chargers, but in truck stops recharging long haul electric tractors with 400 to 800 kWh packs. Smaller battery packs have too much resistance for that amount of power.

      • It would take about 500 kWh to power a loaded 18 wheeler 200 miles. Stopping for a charge that often would probably not be accepted.

        Stopping for a short time after three hours might be acceptable but it’s going to take lot of power to recharge ~800 kWh of batteries in a hurry. And the last 20% would take too long to charge.

        • Bob, do you have a source for how much power a loaded 18 wheeler? I lost my link to my source, so what I just posted may be off.

          The tractors I was looking at got about 8mpg, which I compared with 32 mpg for large sedans. That gave me Tesla’s 2 miles per kwh times four, or about two kWh/mile, so my guess was 3kWh/mile for an efficient truck.
          If my guesstimate was close, then a 600 kWh pack would get that truck about 200 miles, which is a reasonable distance for a rest stop.

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