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About this Article
Written by: Michael Asfaw
Written on: July 28th, 2012
Tags: electrical engineering, energy & sustainability, physics, power, transportation, civil engineering
Thumbnail by: Comyu/Wikimedia Commons
About the Author
Michael was a senior in Mechanical Engineering hoping to pursue a masters in Aerospace Engineering. He is a nature-oriented person who likes to go hiking, backpacking and to sail around the Long Beach harbor on occasion. He enjoys reading articles about up-and-coming technologies.
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Volume XV Issue I > Can Electric Vehicles Charge Wirelessly?
Conventionally, electric vehicles are charged by plugging in the battery compartment to an outlet using a heavy duty wire. Recent work and study into inductive power transfer methods have shown that it is possible to power electric cars wirelessly. The work highlights the success achieved in charging car batteries by retrofitting them with inductive power hardware and compares the improved results with conventional charging methods. With this method, it is believed that electric cars can be made a more compelling alternative to gasoline-powered cars as a result of increased range and the nearly harmless effects of driving electric cars on a daily basis.

Introduction

The world of wireless has thrust us into the 21st century. Wireless is the crux of convenience that will help us keep pace with the today's dynamic, fast-paced culture [1]. Conventional data transfer and electronic powering, which are accomplished with hardwire contact, have come a long way; most people now use the wireless adapter installed within their laptops to connect to the internet. Other instances of wireless data transfer include using Bluetooth technology to transfer music and pictures from one device to another as well as household electronic devices like phones, keyboards and kitchen appliances that use inductive technology to wirelessly charge their batteries.
The average commuter drives a car that runs on gasoline, diesel, or electricity. Vehicles that operate on fuel obtained from crude oil extracts have a relatively long range. However, U.S. dependence on foreign oil and the environmental effects of burning fossil fuels are major concerns that need to be addressed [3]. As a result, the engineering world is transforming automobiles from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV) [2]. Unfortunately, there is an issue of range limitation in the development of electric vehicles: the limited capacity of the Nickel Cadmium and Lithium Ion batteries are particular stumbling blocks [4]. Furthermore, current re-charging methods are slow and inefficient and are restricted to charging stations like the one in Fig. 1. The best method to overcome these restricting obstacles as well as to have more environmentally friendly vehicles is the implementation of inductive power transfer mechanisms on electric vehicles and the improvement of infrastructure to complement these applications.