The world’s population is increasingly urban, with 80% of the world’s population expected to be living in cities by 20501. Urban settings have unique challenges when it comes to electrification, among them the lack of dedicated parking spaces for charging, the need for smarter charging technologies, and the frequent desire to preserve historical charm. Against this backdrop, there is a need for improved electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the ability to charge electric vehicles quickly and conveniently. WiTricity addresses this challenge with:
Global smart cities value is expected to reach $6,965.02 billion by 20302. The number of electric vehicles is projected to reach 300 million by 20303. With electrification, however, comes a challenge. All of these vehicles will need to be charged and charging infrastructure must become far more convenient than it currently is.
WiTricity technology allows urban transit vehicles to be charged while in service and without the need for vandalism-prone wiring and/or charging stations. Think of it as “power snacking”. By charging a bus or a tram on its route wirelessly, it never needs to be taken out of service, reducing TCO. With wireless charging stations embedded under concrete, there is no issue with weather or vandalism. The WiTricity solution is an obvious answer for urban transit, especially as the deployment of electric transit vehicles accelerates.
Wireless charging can also seamlessly fit in to any historic environment: the electric plumbing can be buried in-ground, in planters, even in the base of a bench. With no cords or cables to clutter the view, smart cities can be beautiful and electric.
Autonomy is a perfect solution for dense, urban cities. Autonomous vehicles do not have drivers, but they need to be charged frequently. And to be truly autonomous, the vehicles must be charged wirelessly.
Wirelessly charged vehicles can operate 24/7, the life of the expensive batteries are extended by avoiding charging to 100% and draining to empty, and vehicles can remain in the service area where they are needed. Wireless charging is a simple and scalable solution for charging electric autonomous vehicles, one that supports AV fleet economics, and can accelerate the uptake of autonomy itself.
In today’s smart grid, EV charging infrastructure can communicate with the grid and throttle charging rates to accommodate peak demand. However, V2G enables EVs to store and discharge that power on demand. In principle, EVs, AVs, and even urban transit vehicles can become part of a highly intelligent and responsive urban grid. In practice, most EVs are not plugged in when their batteries are full and at the time a utility company needs that capacity–the energy is there but utility companies cannot get to it.
Bidirectional wireless power solves the access issue. Whenever the vehicle is parked at a charger, without any driver intervention, the vehicle is available to the grid for V2G power on demand. A network of electrically powered vehicles–a massive, distributed source of electrical power–allows urban areas to better manage energy and respond to periods of peak usage and peak generation, charging and tapping these vehicles in an intelligent manner.
Wireless charging is the answer to tomorrow’s smart cities.