23 March 2020

It is becoming increasingly more desirable for electric vehicle (EV) owners to not have to worry about cables and plugging in their vehicle every time they want to charge it.

With convenience and time-saving as key factors, it is also making EV ownership easier for new adopters. With innovative technologies already being developed for wireless charging, it might soon also be possible to charge your car while it is moving. This would be a huge step in helping to alleviate range anxiety.

What is range anxiety?

Range anxiety refers to the fear that people have that their EV battery might not last long enough to take them to their destination. Furthermore, if they do need to recharge in the middle of the journey, they fear they would need to factor in a significant amount of time. When compared to the couple of minutes it takes for a petrol vehicle to refuel, the time taken by an EV might be considered excessive.

Considering that charging is an integral part of EV ownership, it is not feasible to not have to charge your car at all.

However, with new technologies that could allow you to charge your EV wirelessly, you could do it much more easily.

Here are some of the possible technologies that could help you wirelessly charge your EV.

Induction charging

Induction charging works in the same way as wireless charging for your mobile phone. Your car is parked over an induction pad, where, using inductive charging, electricity flows through the gap between the pad and the charger on the car. All you’d need to do is align your vehicle over the charging coils and it will charge in about 3.5 hours without you having to do anything else.

With induction charging stations dotted all over, you’d just need to park your car in the right place to charge it.

Solar charging

car plugged in to solar panels with the sun in the sky

Using solar power to charge your EV is not a new concept. People are using solar power to generate electricity for their homes and using it to charge their car battery across the UK already. However, is it possible in the future to have solar panels on your car directly, so it is charging while it is out in the sun?

As of now, not quite.

The current problem with the solar panels on cars idea is the additional weight, and the amount of power generated.

The weight obviously means more load on the battery, which lowers its range, and the amount of power generated through the limited surface area on the car is not enough to fully charge the battery while the EV is moving.

However, it is not all bad news.

Solar panels, while not enough to charge your car fully, can supplement the battery power to give you additional miles on a single charge. In fact, Hyundai claims that its latest Sonata hybrid model has solar panels that can generate up to 60% of the battery’s power if used for six hours a day.

While it may not be a comprehensive solution right now, developments in solar charging might allow you to fully charge your EV wirelessly in the near future.

e-Lanes

Yellow car driving over the road with a lane marked for vehicle induction charging 

With e-lanes, you could be charging your car wirelessly as you drive along the road. These roads are being tested in the UK as well as in Sweden. Once completed, you would be able to drive along these routes while simultaneously charging your car’s battery.

How will these e-lanes charge your EV wirelessly? Through induction charging, of course. There are plans to create motorways that have induction pads built in, allowing your EV to charge wirelessly as you drive over them.

 

Further reading

Electric vehicle technology has come a long way, with new developments being released regularly. It won’t be long before EVs are as ‘mainstream’ as fossil fuel cars.

To learn more about the developments in EV technology, here are some recommended articles.

If you and your company are interested in switching to a greener fleet or looking for offer fleet management and leasing, employee benefits solutions, and driver services, give us a call us on 0844 854 5100 or email CSalmon@sgfleet.com to speak to us.

A man in a suit holding a tablet with a vector image of a car on it and a plug coming from under