Continental develops automated wireless EV charging system


To help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by reducing driver’s issues over ‘range anxiety’, automotive technology company Continental has developed a user-friendly automated inductive charging system that can be installed in EVs and public infrastructure.

In the Continental system, the recharging power is transferred wirelessly from a ground-based charging pad to a receiver pad on the underside of the vehicle. All the driver has to do is to park over the charging pad, assisted by an innovative Continental micro-navigation system. As soon as the vehicle approaches a parking bay equipped with inductive charging, an authentication dialog with the charging station is executed automatically. A human-machine interface (HMI) shows the driver when the vehicle has reached the correct parking position and confirms that charging has started. Since inductive charging involves virtually no effort on the part of EV drivers, the company expects this to result in an improvement in overall energy balance, and also an increase in the vehicle’s available range at any given time.

The system also has built-in safety features. As soon as the wireless authentication process has been completed and the vehicle is correctly parked, the charging pad starts transmitting power. If the integrated gap-monitoring function detects the intrusion of a foreign object under the vehicle, between the two pads, power transmission is immediately interrupted. The inductive charging technology takes up relatively little space in a garage or parking lot compared with cable-based technology, with a greatly reduced risk of vandalism when deployed in public parking bays.

“At present, there can be any of a number of reasons why 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,” explained Thomas Röhrl, Continental’s expert responsible for the system.

“And taken together, a large number of short charging sessions provide just as much energy as one long session. We have developed a comprehensive inductive charging solution capable of recharging the EV at a rate of up to 11kW, where every minute of charging time provides approximately one kilometer of driving range.

“Ongoing progress in the field of semi-automated driving technology will in future allow this aspect of the charging process to be performed without any action on the part of the driver, making for even greater comfort and convenience.”

To see a video of the wireless charging system, click here.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).