Ford Patents In-Street Wi-fi Charging Tech For EVs

A current Ford patent granted by america Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO) reveals how the American auto big is considering charging all-electric automobiles sooner or later, and it’s fascinating and questionable on the identical time.

First seen by Inexperienced Automotive Stories, the patent utility describes how coils which might be related to a supply of electrical energy may very well be embedded within the highway floor to transmit energy wirelessly to receivers mounted on EVs driving alongside.

Titled “Roadway Charging Coil Alignment and Monitoring,” the appliance was initially filed on January 20 after which revealed on July 20 and proposes equipping the automobiles with floor penetrating radar to detect the embedded coils and mechanically steer them, maximizing the charging energy by exactly aligning the in-road coils with the automobile’s receiver.

The detailed description reads as follows:

“The invention optimizes inductive coupling between vehicle-mounted receiving coils and roadway-embedded transmission coils in an effort to maximize a automobile charging fee whereas driving at velocity on a roadway.

Floor penetrating radar (ideally Extremely-Wideband or UWB radar) detects and maps out the embedded charging coils so {that a} automobile path could be laid out with the optimum charging capability. A detection vary of the radar extends past the charging coil presently beneath a automobile, probably past the subsequent few coils within the journey course of the automobile.”

It’s an fascinating proposal that might result in EVs having smaller batteries, which in flip could make the automobiles a lot lighter and extra environment friendly, contemplating they may very well be charged on the go, but it surely’s not with out its flaws, the most important of them being the potential prices of placing copper wire within the roads themselves.

One other potential drawback is the restricted output that present dynamic wi-fi charging options are able to offering – most provide between 11 kilowatts and 20 kW – however even these are nonetheless on the experimental stage. An even bigger common switch fee of 70 kW was achieved on a section of a one-mile take a look at highway in Sweden in 2021, the place Israeli startup ElectReon efficiently examined its know-how at numerous speeds of as much as 37 miles per hour on a 40-ton truck.

A more moderen take a look at, carried out by Stellantis in Italy utilizing the identical ElectReon in-road tech, noticed a Fiat 500e drive whereas being dynamically and wirelessly recharged on a 3,444-foot (1.05-kilometer) stretch of highway.

This isn’t the primary time Ford bought a patent for brand spanking new EV tech. Final month it filed an utility for a transportable charging trailer that might energy the EV that’s towing it, and in June it filed one other patent that describes a roof-mounted backup battery pack.

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