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Flanders’ DRIVE research shows wireless EV charging is feasible and safe

Average efficiency of charging systems used in the study exceeds 90%, says Flanders’ DRIVE director

Flanders’ DRIVE, a Flemish non-profit organization working for the vehicle industry, has shared the results of a feasibility study conducted on wireless charging of electric vehicles (EVs), showing that the technology is feasible, safe and use-friendly. The study was conducted over a period of two and a half years in conjunction with nine companies and two universities focusing on the dynamic charging of buses and stationary charging of cars. Project partners include Bombardier, Energy ICT, Infrax, Inverto, Catholic University Leuven, Mobistar, NXP, OCW, Van Hool, Volvo Cars Company and Free University Brussels.

Significance: Inductive charging is drawing attention over the traditional EV charging systems, which depend on fixed sockets and cords as long as 18 feet. Inductive charging equipment, on the contrary, is in the form of charging plates, on top of which an EV is placed. It charges a vehicle via an electromagnetic field which transfers the energy. Its integration into the parking spaces and road surface could also provide a variety of benefits, including increasing range, or even reducing the size of the currently costly batteries in EVs. For the study, the participants integrated systems for wireless charging in a car and a bus and also in a charging station at Flanders’ DRIVE and a section in the road surface of the N769 in Lommel (Belgium) which was used as a test track. The project used a system charging for an electric car within seven hours, which is also suited for charging at home or work. The project also tested a system charging the car in one hour. In case of bus, the project studied the charging for stationary as well as moving buses. In case of driving, the study notes that special attention is required while positioning the bus on the road for proper charging. Flanders’ DRIVE research study shows that wireless charging is safe in both the cases – stationary and driving. “The study shows that wireless charging using an inductive system can be done almost as efficiently as charging with a cable. The average efficiency of the charging systems used in the study exceeds 90% and such both for stationary and dynamic charging at speeds up to 70 km/h,” said Renilde Craps, Director of Flanders’ DRIVE.


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