As we move towards an EV-dominated future, efforts to introduce on-the-go wireless charging systems are increasing.
Now Germany’s famed Autobahn will welcome its own wireless charging system, though it won’t be available to individual EV drivers. Instead, it will power a public bus that transports passengers to the town of Balingen.
The technology is provided by the Israeli wireless charging company Electricwhich will collaborate with the German EnBW, a supplier of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, for the realization of the project.
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Electreon will deploy 1km Electric Road System (ERS) along a stretch of the Autobahn, enabling dynamic wireless charging while the bus is in motion. This is accompanied by two static charging stations placed at stops along the bus route.
The project consists of two phases: firstly, the deployment of a 400-metre long route with two fixed charging stations. Secondly, the extension of the electric road by another 600 meters.
This aim follows in particular a successful pilot of the two companies in the German city of Karlsruhe. An electrified road was built at the EnBW training center, powering a local public bus during peak hours.
“In our joint Karlsruhe project with EnBW, we have already shown how effective, safe and simple wireless dynamic charging is. We hope this is the start of many more projects on public and private roads in Germany,” said Dr. Andreas Wendt, CEO of Electreon Germany, in the press release.
But although Electreon and multiple Based in the US businesses are testing the technology, but only a few European companies are active in the field. These include Italian energy moveGerman base Magicand Swedish Elonroad.
Wireless charging on the road can play a vital role in allaying range anxiety and the inconvenience of long charging times at stations. This, in turn, will facilitate the transition to electric vehicles.
On the other hand, it requires a huge change (and investment) in infrastructure, which could prove obsolete by the time it is realized due to technological advancements in conventional charging stations. Perhaps European industry is taking a wait-and-see attitude before spending all that money.