by Eric Cohen
A piece of advice Nicks’ father gave him was to “always minimize the inconvenience.” And that’s exactly why Nick Wood is interested in wireless charging for his electric vehicle. It’s also what drives his latest home innovations.
Residing in Sheffield, England, Nick loves technology. He was one of the first in his community to fit solar on his home. And he recently updated his EV charger so he can charge his car with the excess solar power his system generates. This allows him to either charge with low-rate nighttime power and/or also plug in and charge during the day using excess solar, rather than exporting it to go to the grid.
Not stopping with the technology that drives his home, Nick loves the technology that drives his cars. “I always look at a product and say, ‘that’s all well and good but there’s a better way to do it.’ I’m the guy who always comes up with the crazy idea and asks, ‘why don’t we try this?’” Nick explained. And that’s exactly what led him to electric vehicles.
Nick recalled, “It was during Diesel-gate that I knew I had to change my ways.” He was driving a BMW 320D, which drove very well, and then became aware there were now much cleaner and sustainable alternatives to diesel. So he traded the 320D in for his first first EV, a BMW I3 with the petrol range extender and quickly realized that it was better in every way. Except for when the noisy, loud, and uncomfortable range extender kicked in due to the limited range of the small battery. The solution was to go full EV with a bigger battery.
In the meantime, the Tesla model 3 was just coming to market. This had the larger battery he was looking for although he had to wait a bit longer to get one until the steering wheel was fitted to the “correct” side of the car. He switched to the M3 long-range two years ago as well as upgrading to the solar-connected EV charger.
When he heard about wireless charging, he smiled, “the notion of driving onto my driveway, driving over a pad and the car connecting automatically put a big smile on my face. In fact, when I explained wireless charging to my neighbor – who has NO understanding of electric vehicles – she immediately understood the concept and began telling ME about the benefits. It’s logical and easy to understand. The best plug is no plug at all.”
Nick also thinks that wireless charging is the gateway to more people purchasing an electric vehicle. “A large percentage of people in the UK don’t have off street parking. They can’t have a conventional EV charger fitted to their house due to the cable causing a trip hazard when connected to the car. The idea that a wireless charger could be fitted to the road surface and all cables laid underground to the house, allowing them to charge their EV effortlessly, is very exciting.”
A 13KWh storage battery has also been recently considered as the next addition to Nick’s solar system as the EV charger has a digital display and app showing the excess solar charging the car. This would enable the much bigger 75KWh car battery to be used instead and save on the cost of the battery. Nick mentioned, “If the wireless charger also featured excess solar charging, that would be even more of a game changer.”
Before I could ask my next question, Nick quickly stated, “When you’re ready to upfit vehicles in the UK with wireless charging, I’ll be the first in queue to have mine fitted.”
We can’t wait, Nick!