Continental will be presenting its all-new automated wireless charging technology at its Tech Show in June, as well as at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The company will showcase an electric vehicle with its new inductive charging technology, where power is transferred wirelessly from a ground-based charging pad to a receiver pad on the underside of the vehicle. The vehicle simply needs to be parked over the charging pad, location of which will be provided by a micro-navigation solution from Continental. Continental is offering this charging solution not only for EVs but also for e-bikes.
As soon as the vehicle approaches a parking bay equipped with inductive charging, an authentication dialogue with the charging station is executed automatically, said Continental. A human-machine interface (HMI) shows the driver when the vehicle has reached the correct parking position and confirms that charging has started, it added. This inductive charging solution is also said to include vehicle positioning, electronic communication, charging management, safety monitoring and data retrieval. Continental’s inductive charging solution is capable of recharging the EV at a rate of up to 11 kW, which translates to roughly 1 km of driving range per minute of charging time.
In addition to convenience, a further feature of this system is its safety, note Continental. If the integrated gap-monitoring function detects the intrusion of a foreign object under the vehicle, between the ground pad and the vehicle pad, power transmission is immediately interrupted. Additionally, inductive charging technology takes up relatively little space in a garage or parking lot compared with cable-based technology. The ground pad, which is capable of withstanding a load of up to 500 kg, is either located on or recessed into the ground. This makes the system easier to integrate in confined parking bays than a wall box, the company said. In public parking bays, a further advantage of inductive charging technology is the reduced risk of vandalism.
Thomas Röhrl, responsible expert for the inductive charging system, Continental, said currently, there can be a number of reasons EV drivers are reluctant to use every available opportunity to recharge their vehicle. With the inductive charging system, drivers can take advantage of recharging opportunities whenever they arise, with no hassle whatsoever, he added. Röhrl explained that taken together, a large number of short charging sessions provide just as much energy as one long session.
Continental said that this form of charging is more practical since the charging begins quite instantly once parked and authenticated, and it does not involve plugging in of wires. Additionally, the vehicle-mounted inductive charging components comprise a receiver pad, power electronics, controllers and a human-machine interface to assist with precise parking, with the positioning system too having been developed by Continental.
Continental used its combined cross-divisional know-how to develop this inductive charging solution because it requires extensive and focused systems expertise, noted Dr Oliver Maiwald, Head, Technology and Innovation, Powertrain Division, Continental. He said that it spans everything from wireless communication between the vehicle and charging station; sophisticated micro-navigation technology and an HMI providing visual feedback for the driver; and inductive charging technology itself.