Renault has partnered with Qualcomm Technologies and Vedecom to explore wireless electric vehicle charging at a rate as high as 20 kilowatts (kW) — with the wireless charging working even up to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h)! In other words, this rate of wireless electric vehicle charging (DEVC) could enable vehicles to charge while driving. … Well, that certainly would hush any charge anxiety.
A press release from Renault reports that working along with Qualcomm Technologies and Vedecom, the DEVC system is designed to be capable of charging an electric vehicle in real-world implementation of “dynamic charging.” Two Renault Kangoo Z.E. electric vans are being used for the testing, with Vedecom and Renault working together to implement the necessary onboard tech.
The 100-metre test track was built by Vedecom (in collaboration with Qualcomm, a wireless EV charging leader at this stage of the tech) at Satory, Versailles, France. It is part of the FABRIC project.
“The DEVC system will shortly be handed over to Vedecom to perform tests for FABRIC. The tests will evaluate the operation and efficiency of energy transfer to the vehicles for a wide range of practical scenarios including vehicle identification and authorization on entering track, power level agreement between track and vehicle, speed and alignment of vehicle along track.”
The European Union played a part in this tech leadership by partially funding FABRIC, a €9 million project. The project considers both the economic viability and the socio-environmental sustainability of wireless DEVC.
Beginning way back in January 2014, the project progresses through December 2017. Along with the EU, a consortium of 25 partners from 9 European countries — including automotive manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, and research organizations from automotive, road, and energy infrastructure domains — support the manifestation. “The main aim of FABRIC is to conduct feasibility analysis of wireless DEVC as a means of EV range extension,” the press release noted.
“Contributing to this exciting project has enabled us to test and further research dynamic charging on our Kangoo Z.E. vehicles,” said Eric Feunteun, Electric Vehicle Program Director, Groupe Renault. “Our research engineers have worked very closely with the Qualcomm Technologies and Vedecom teams to complete the DEVC system integration demonstration as part of FABRIC. We see dynamic charging as a great vision to further enhance the ease of use of EVs, and the accessibility of EVs for all.”
“We are inventors. We are wireless electric vehicle charging. This dynamic charging demonstration is the embodiment of this,” said Steve Pazol, vice president and general manager, Wireless Charging, Qualcomm Incorporated. “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved. The combination of a global team of expert engineers and Qualcomm Halo technology, which covers all aspects of WEVC systems, irrespective of the magnetics used, has enabled us to really push the boundaries of the possible and outline our vision for future urban mobility.”
Renault Zoe EV sales have been topping the EV sales charts in Europe. Here’s our chart after the first quarter of 2017:
The Renault Kangoo Z.E. is also very popular for its class. As one example, 240 electric Kangoos were chosen for Norway’s postal service. As CleanTechnica highlighted at the time, “One of the best things governments can do to boost electric vehicle use and cut emissions is to procure electric vehicles themselves. This alone has an impact on emissions, but it also exposes a large number of people to EVs, which is often all that’s needed to get them to switch to an electric car for their personal use.” Can you imagine how much more compelled to procure EVs governments would be if they had wireless charging on their roads?
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