Con­ti­nen­tal de­vel­ops in­duc­tive charg­ing sys­tem for EVs, e-bikes

Auto components India - - INTERNATIONAL -

Tech­nol­ogy com­pany Con­ti­nen­tal has de­vel­oped user-friendly in­duc­tive charg­ing tech­nol­ogy for elec­tric ve­hi­cle (EV). The charg­ing power is trans­ferred wire­lessly from a ground-based charg­ing pad to a re­ceiver pad on the un­der­side of the ve­hi­cle. Con­ti­nen­tal of­fers this charg­ing so­lu­tion not only for EVs but also for e-bikes.

All the driver has to do is to park over the charg­ing pad, as­sisted by an in­no­va­tive Con­ti­nen­tal mi­cron­av­i­ga­tion so­lu­tion. As soon as the ve­hi­cle ap­proaches a park­ing bay equipped with in­duc­tive charg­ing, an au­then­ti­ca­tion di­a­logue with the charg­ing sta­tion is ex­e­cuted au­to­mat­i­cally. A hu­man-ma­chine in­ter­face shows the driver when the ve­hi­cle has reached the cor­rect park­ing po­si­tion and con­firms that charg­ing has started.

Con­ti­nen­tal ex­pert, Thomas Röhrl, said, “At present, there can be any of a num­ber of rea­sons why EV drivers are re­luc­tant to use ev­ery avail­able op­por­tu­nity to recharge their ve­hi­cle. If it’s cold out­side or wet they may not feel like get­ting out and grap­pling with the charg­ing ca­ble.” Par­tic­u­larly when drivers only in­tend to make a short stop, this may all seem like too much trou­ble and they will pre­fer to let the op­por­tu­nity pass by.

“With the in­duc­tive charg­ing sys­tem, drivers can take ad­van­tage of recharg­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties when­ever they arise, with no has­sle what­so­ever. And taken to­gether, a large num­ber of short charg­ing ses­sions pro­vide just as much en­ergy as one long ses­sion,” he said. Since in­duc­tive charg­ing in­volves vir­tu­ally no ef­fort on the part of the EV drivers, Con­ti­nen­tal ex­pects this to re­sult in an im­prove­ment in overall en­ergy bal­ance, and there­fore also an in­crease in the ve­hi­cle’s avail­able range at any given time.

More prac­ti­cal charg­ing

EV drivers in­stinc­tively tend to com­pare recharg­ing the bat­tery of their elec­tric ve­hi­cle to fill­ing up the tank on a con­ven­tional ve­hi­cle. The two dif­fer­ences that strike them im­me­di­ately are first of all the fact that charg­ing an elec­tric ve­hi­cle takes longer than fill­ing up with fuel and se­condly the fact that be­fore charg­ing can start, they have to con­nect a ca­ble from the charg­ing sta­tion to the ve­hi­cle.

“We have to make recharg­ing more prac­ti­cal and user-friendly. In­duc­tive charg­ing tech­nol­ogy will be a big step to­wards achiev­ing this,” Röhrl said. With this in mind, Con­ti­nen­tal has de­vel­oped a com­pre­hen­sive in­duc­tive charg­ing so­lu­tion ca­pa­ble of recharg­ing the EV at a rate of up to 11 kW. This sys­tem charges the ve­hi­cle au­to­mat­i­cally and safely as soon as the ve­hi­cle is parked in the cor­rect po­si­tion over the sys­tem’s ground pad.

The ve­hi­cle-mounted in­duc­tive charg­ing com­po­nents com­prise a re­ceiver pad, power elec­tron­ics, con­trollers and a hu­man­ma­chine in­ter­face to as­sist with pre­cise park­ing. The po­si­tion­ing sys­tem too was de­vel­oped by Con­ti­nen­tal. The po­si­tion­ing tol­er­ance of bet­ter than 10 cm is ideal to en­sure the best pos­si­ble power trans­fer from the ground pad to the ve­hi­cle.

The on­go­ing progress in the field of semi-au­to­mated driv­ing tech­nol­ogy will in fu­ture al­low this as­pect of the charg­ing process (park­ing) to be per­formed with­out any ac­tion on the part of the driver, mak­ing for even greater com­fort and con­ve­nience. At a charg­ing rate of 11 kW, ev­ery minute of charg­ing time pro­vides ap­prox­i­mately one km of driv­ing range. “So in the space of a 20- minute shop­ping trip, the avail­able driv­ing range can be in­creased by up to 20 km,” Röhrl said.

Ac­cord­ing to Oliver Mai­wald, Head of Tech­nol­ogy and In­no­va­tion with Con­ti­nen­tal’s Pow­er­train Di­vi­sion, “Con­ti­nen­tal used its com­bined cross-divi­sional know-how to de­velop this in­duc­tive charg­ing so­lu­tion as this type of charg­ing tech­nol­ogy re­quires very ex­ten­sive and fo­cused sys­tems ex­per­tise. It spans every­thing from wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the ve­hi­cle and charg­ing sta­tion, so­phis­ti­cated mi­cro-nav­i­ga­tion tech­nol­ogy and a hu­man-ma­chine in­ter­face pro­vid­ing vis­ual feed­back for the driver, to the in­duc­tive charg­ing tech­nol­ogy it­self.”

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