VW Working On Wireless Charging Breakthrough With ORNL, UT

Minimizing losses and increasing speed of inductive fast charging for electric vehicles were some of Volkswagen’s goals when teaming up with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This was done through the Volkswagen Group of America’s Innovation Hub Knoxville and impressive progress has already been made, according to a recent report.

Through this research and development partnership, they’ve already been able to increase the maximum wireless charging speed from 6.6 kW to 120 kW. They plan to increase that even further, with 300 kW being the goal, and that would be enough to charge a Porsche Taycan with the big battery pack up to 80 percent in 10 minutes.

That’s comparable to the Taycan’s charging speed through a rapid charging station, but the company is not quite there yet. As you know, losses are one of the major problems that used to plague wireless chargers for electric vehicles, but according to ORNL, they’ve already managed to get efficiency up to 98 percent – only 2 percent of the power transmitted through the wireless pad is wasted.

Gallery: VW ORNL UT Wireless Charging

Xin Sun, ORNL’s Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Science and Technology, says that

We are pleased to work with Volkswagen to demonstrate ORNL’s powerful and ultra-efficient wireless charging technology. Our unique multi-phase electromagnetic coil design and power electronics have the potential to provide high power transfer levels in a compact system, reduce anxiety about the cruising range of electric vehicles and accelerate decarbonization of the US transportation sector.

They will not focus just on the charging, though, but also work on developing composite components made from plant fibers, especially for use inside a car. The plan is to also find ways to reuse these composite materials that are very hard to recycle. This approach is not at all dissimilar to what BMW proposed with the i Vision Circular concept and we’re sure other manufacturers will follow suit.


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