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New Charging Technology Could Curb Range Anxiety

(Credit: © Department of Energy)

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New Charging Technology Could Curb Range Anxiety

Scion iQ Wireless Charging Test Vehicle

Scion iQ Wireless Charging Test Vehicle (Credit: © Department of Energy)

EVs are the future of travel in the U.S. and there is not much debate to that. The only thing holding them back at this point is technology. Currently, most EVs require a plug and hours to recharge, leading many buyers toward the infamous range anxiety when it comes to buying one. Today, the folks at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratories have developed a new, more powerful wireless charging system that could help ease the transition into the world of electric cars.

Today’s EVs mostly use level two chargers that juice up your EV at a rate of 7.7 kW, and those who make the switch to wireless charging typically charge at a rate of 3.3 kW. While both of these are fine for long-term fill-ups, they are often too slow for most buyers. This new wireless system that is in development by ORNL will charge at a rate of 20 kW at 90 percent efficiency without the need to plug in, roughly tripling the current rate of most non-commercial chargers.

What’s more, ORNL is testing the system’s dynamic charging, which means they are testing out its ability to charge while driving. While this sort of charge-while-you-drive technology is a long ways off, as it would involve specially equipped roadways, it is still a novel concept that could revolutionize EV world.

ORNL isn’t stopping at 20 kW either. The research lab has already announced that it is already looking ahead to its next project: a 50 kW wireless charger. This rate of charge would match that of commercial chargers, making EVs even more acceptable to skeptical buyers.

While this is all well and good, keep in mind that this system is still in development and it likely several years away from practical use. Stay tuned for updates.

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