Wireless charging of electric vehicles

The inductive charging of e-vehicles will advance the breakthrough of electromobility. IABG and its subsidiary INTIS have developed the technology through to series production.

Ottobrunn, 30th May 2018. Traffic congestion in the inner cities, fine particles and nitrogen oxides in the air we breathe – to remedy this state of affairs the industry is working all out on intelligent solutions for the road traffic of the future. Smart solutions are needed – and today one such is standing ready on the IABG premises. A BMW i3 is parked at the entrance of the IABG Technology Centre. You cannot see from the outside what makes this a smart solution: the vehicle is equipped with inductive power transfer technology. With the new i3 at its gates, IABG is demonstrating that it has brought its procedure for wireless charging of e-vehicles through to series production.

For many years the technology enterprise IABG has been addressing the topics of networking, industry 4.0, robotics for mobility applications and in particular inductive charging technology. The idea: to supply e-vehicles with power through a contact-free procedure and no longer via charging cables. This is done with coils built into the road on the one hand, and on the underside of the electric vehicle on the other. You no longer need a charging cable, the energy is transferred via the air gap between the two coils. The entire charging process is automatic the moment a vehicle equipped accordingly is above the coil in the road.

The inductive charging technology is way ahead of the cable procedure with regard to user convenience, operational safety, vulnerability to vandalism and general robustness. It is maintenance-free and can be placed almost invisibly in the ground and in the vehicles. At over 90% the overall efficiency is comparable with that of fast charging by cable.

Inductive charging of e-vehicles with the technology realised by IABG together with INTIS is not just stationary. If specific sections of the road are appropriately equipped, supplying power can also happen on the move. Apart from the charging of batteries, energy for driving will also be provided. Thanks to specially developed vehicle coils, buses, heavy goods vehicles, transporters and passenger cars alike can be supplied with energy along these road sections. In this way, IABG wants to ensure that as many road users as possible can be served by one and the same charging infrastructure.

IABG is convinced that this will open up completely new fields of application which go way beyond the easy battery charging of private cars in their own garages. Possible scenarios include taxi lanes at airports and railway stations or inner-city bus lanes. Likewise, driverless, electrically driven robotaxis of the future will also have to rely on an inductive charging procedure without human intervention.

In particular with the technology of inductive charging in motion, IABG wants to contribute towards solving the problem of the range of electric vehicles and advance the breakthrough of the key technology of electromobility and its accompanying improvement of the quality of inner-city life.

At the beginning of May, the i3 was integrated into the IABG vehicle fleet at its site in Ottobrunn. In addition to press and customer demonstrations, it is also available for occasional use by employees.