The Engineer Q&A: wireless electric vehicle charging

Send us your questions about wireless electric vehicle charging technology and our panel of experts will answer them.

The hassle of recharging electric vehicles – either by trailing a cable out to the car or driving around looking for one of the few publicly charging points yet available ­– is one of the factors preventing them from becoming more popular.

So what if EVs automatically began to top up their batteries when parked using wireless inductive charging technology buried in the ground? And, even better, what if the technology could be placed underneath roads to charge the vehicles as they drove? This might even eliminate another public fear surrounding EVs: running out of power.

Several car manufacturers including BMW, Nissan and Renault are experimenting with inductive charging while US electronics firm Qualcomm is currently running a trial of its Halo wireless system in London and has partnerships with Delta Motorsport and Drayson Racing.

The technology works in a similar way to electrical transformers by creating a localised electromagnetic field around a charging pad, which induces a current in a counterpart pad on the vehicle parked above it.

The Engineer has lined up a panel of experts to answer your questions about wireless charging technology, how it might be used for mainstream cars and motor racing and what the challenges might be in rolling it out.

Thanks to all those who sent in questions. You can read the answers from our panel here.