Charging on the move

18 November 2021 | Article

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution that is so obvious on the street is also setting the pace in the workshops as training and knowledge of EV technology is now a major aftermarket trend, as the EV is clearly here to stay. However, where is charging these vehicles headed?

The growing popularity of EVs is largely driven by environmental issues and principally the short term gain they provide in terms of the reduction of exhaust emissions and the consumption of fossil fuels, primarily in the form of petrol and diesel. However, although the range they can travel is improving with every new model, charging the batteries they rely on can still be problematic, particularly as competition for public charging points is likely to intensify. So, is there a solution?

Well, a team of engineers at DENSO’s Electrification Systems Engineering Division believes there is and can picture a future when EVs will be charged while on the move and are now hard at work to make the chore of plugging in, a thing of the past!

Wireless power transfer technology is already widely used to charge devices such as smartphones and electric toothbrushes. By applying it to the world of electric mobility, EV batteries will be able to be charged on the move, or more precisely, when the vehicle comes to a stop during a journey, which will enable EVs to keep running without stopping to charge.

With this development, not only does driving an EV have a less harmful impact on the environment, it also avoids competition to find and use – often for lengthy periods – a public charging point, and provides an advantage that is just not possible with a traditionally fuelled vehicle. Although the concept would be able to operate wherever the technology is integrated into the infrastructure, it really comes into its own when city driving, where in busy areas many vehicles spend half the time sitting at red lights or at rest due to congestion.

Although sophisticated control systems are required to develop this type of technology, DENSO is a major supplier of control technology and possesses deep knowledge and considerable experience in the field of mobility-product control technologies, to enable it to build systems that effectively coordinate mobility with infrastructure to harmonise the complex mechanisms as one system.

DENSO has been conducting collaborative industry/academia demonstration testing based on an open innovation approach and from 2022, will gradually start the social experiment. Around 2025, it plans to start practical applications of the technology in compact mobility systems within DENSO’s plants.

The technology is expected to work particularly well with vehicles that serve distribution centres, plants and other facilities that operate nonstop throughout the day. By installing electric power charging systems in these locations, the potential use of automated guided vehicles and greatly improved task automation and efficiency, can be expanded.

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Through development of this technology, DENSO will continue striving to achieve seamless interconnection of infrastructure and mobility to deliver a better future for people everywhere, and a better future for the planet.

The full ‘Driving an electric vehicle as far as you want without stopping to charge – this lifestyle is about to become a reality’ story is available in the Stories section of the DENSO Global Website, or via this link: https://www.denso.com/global/en/news/stories/all/210610-01/ev-battery/

Further details of the DENSO Aftermarket programme are available online at: www.denso-am.co.uk

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