Two electric vehicle (EV) technology specialists have joined forces to assess the feasibility of bringing wireless inductive charging to the mass market, as an optional extra for potential EV customers.
The memorandum of understanding between battery pack manufacturer Evida and inductive charging specialist HaloIPT will model the manufacture of 40,000 induction charging systems over a five-year period at an estimated cost of €80m (£70.6m).
Evida this month began full-scale production of the battery pack for the mia electric — a pared-down all-electric vehicle for the ‘mass market’. Some 70,000 units of the EV are projected to be shifted by 2015.
By contrast, HaloIPT has been focusing on niche applications for its technology, including fleet vehicles, taxis and luxury products such as the recent Rolls-Royce 102EX Phantom, which will sell with an option for wireless charging.
‘It’s still early days — it’s an exploration,’ said Jonathan Shine, Evida’s co-founder. ‘But I will say that as a company that wants to be instrumental in proliferating EVs, wireless charging is very attractive for us — having that facility on a vehicle makes it significantly more useful for owners.’
Experts from HaloIPT and Evida will evaluate the commercial viability and unit cost of the IPT system relative to the proposed build volumes, as well as co-operating to further develop the system and its technology.
This will include identifying the most effective manufacturing processes and supply chain network structure and production schedule, as well as the preferred assembly location. Both organisations will examine the scope of civil engineering required to integrate the wireless charging infrastructure in the urban environment.
‘People pay for all sorts of very expensive extras in their vehicles now, so there’s no reason why they won’t pay for this very useful gadget,’ Shine said.
Noting the official launch of the Source London charging scheme last week (which uses plug-in charging), Shine was quick to point out that, under the study, all vehicles would still have the capability to charge via plug-in as well as wireless.
Inductive charging could one day enable drivers to ‘refuel’ electric cars while on the move. Click here to read more.