By WiTricity CMO Amy Barzdukas
In December, our Tesla Model 3 went wireless. We posted some videos just prior to the holidays showing how our upgraded Tesla charges wirelessly — no plugs, no hassles.
In addition to generating a lot of buzz, our Tesla generated a lot of questions. So, here’s the rundown:
•Speed – how quickly does it charge, what’s the charging rate, can you share some specs?
Charging speed is actually a pretty complex topic, much more complex than most people realize. I’ll go into more detail in my next blog post but I’m delighted to report that wireless charging is as efficient as the plug. The system we show in the video delivers about 10kW to the car. When the car is charging optimally – not too hot, not too cold – that would equate to about 48 MPH. It’s important to note, however, that wireless charging is not limited to 11kW: we can scale to much higher power as well.
•What’s the big deal about plug-in charging?
It’s a hassle. Plug-in charging requires a free hand, which isn’t always easy after parking. Public plug-in charging requires many unfamiliar individuals touching the same apparatus. Public chargers are often the victim of vandalism, accidents, drop damage … or simply don’t work. Everyone is looking to make their life easier and wireless charging is effortless.
•Is wireless charging as safe as plug-in charging?
Actually, it’s safer. Plug-in chargers are often located in unsafe locations, exposing users to vulnerable situations. In addition, they expose users to potential shock hazards. Wireless chargers can be placed anywhere – particularly in safe locations. And, because they don’t require any human interaction, there’s no electrical danger when charging.
•How far off is road charging infrastructure?
It’s hard to predict the appetite for infrastructure investment, but dynamic charging is real. We proved “dynamic charging” in 2017 when Qualcomm’s Halo team, now part of WiTricity, built a test track outside of Versailles. Cars traveling on the road hit all our targets with the system and achieved 75 mph. Today, dynamic charging is in pilots on roads around the world. Semi-dynamic charging, for example in taxi queues or shuttle transportation, will likely arrive sooner.
•If I already have a plug-in charger, do I need to install a second charger or can I combine them?
You will need to install a second charger.
•How soon until I can get a Tesla Model 3 with wireless charging? Or other EVs with wireless charging?
Hyundai just announced its Genesis GV60 in Korea with wireless charging. China-based carmakers and global-based carmakers will be making announcements in the coming months and years. And there are more in the works.
What other questions do you have? Please send them to me and I’ll address them in a future blog post.