A German supplier of electronics and powertrain design to most of the major automakers for the last 25 years has just secured a patent that could be a game changer for electric vehicle adoption. Their technology would allow electric vehicles to be charged as they drive over any road embedded with a recessed wireless recharging strip, using electromagnetic induction.

Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr (IAV) says the technology will be available commercially within 3 years, is insensitive to weather conditions, and is not susceptible to mechanical wear.

As Wilfried Nitschke from IAV says, “The road is then the range extender.”

The concept of on-the-go roadway recharging for electric vehicles has been out there for a while. In August Nissan floated the idea along with closer-to-fruition ideas like wireless charging stands for the garage.

In fact, it is not untested technology. DARPA has long funded similar work at the PATH program at Berkeley; moving automated buses along set “tracks”, which is a relatively efficient way for buses to operate. Recently university researchers at the Korean Advanced Institute Of Science Technology have also been able to achieve 80% efficient transmission from the road up through a 1 cm gap, or 60% effective transmission when the space widened to 12 cm (nearly 5″) when they tested the technology to move a bus.

But until this year, little work has been done on using the concept to charge electric cars going at freeway speeds along regular roads, while enabling the electric vehicles to also move freely onto and off of the charging strip, as IAV has done. (German video)

IAV has achieved 90% efficient transmission for electric vehicle charging from roads using recessed electrical conductors that generate a magnetic field; activated only when the sensor detects that an electric car is over the induction field. Radio chips would identify individual electric vehicles for correct billing.

The key issue has been maintaining a set distance between the sensor under the vehicle and the roadway.To solve that, the vehicle sensor must use active suspension and to also utilize optical electronic controls to maintain a consistent distance between the road and the sensor.

Source and Image: Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr