Charge as You Drive
Rolls Royce has built an electric car. Sorry you can’t buy it. It’s just a test bed, an experimental vehicle. Rolls Royce wants to observe both consumer reaction and study the technical feasibly of a large battery-electric luxury sedan. It’s the first electric car from Rolls Royce in its 107 year history.
The Phantom 102 EX, as the e-car is known, is said to have the largest electric passenger car battery pack in the world: 71 kilowatts of overall capacity. The battery, built by Axeon of Scotland, should pack enough wallop to push the big Roller 200 kilometers, or 125 miles or so.
For the most part the 102 EX is much like many electric cars, though bigger. However, it’s what’s underneath that makes the electric super luxury car really stand out: There’s receiver strapped to the chassis that will allow wireless charging from a transmitter pad buried under a parking space or roadway. (The car can charge from a plug too.)
HaloIPT, that is supplying the breakthrough technology, says this in a press release:
“HaloIPT is the first company in the world to bring to market wireless charging technology, which allows cars fitted with an integrated receiver to charge automatically when parked over transmitter pads buried in the ground. HaloIPT’s wireless charging systems use inductive power transfer (IPT) to transfer power over large gaps and are incredibly tolerant to parking misalignment with power transfer efficiencies that can match a plug-and-cable. The technology is designed to function beneath asphalt, and even works under water or covered in ice and snow. IPT systems can be configured to work with all road-based vehicles from small city cars to heavy-goods vehicles and buses.
“In the future, infrastructure providers will be able to embed IPT technology into roads, so HaloIPT cars can be charged on the move. This dynamic in-motion charging represents the most effective way of solving the range issues faced by electric vehicles today and will significantly reduce battery size requirements as well as providing unparalleled charging convenience.”
Impressive and game changing wireless charging would be amazing if promises come true. At first, as wireless charging networks were being built, electric vehicle drivers would hunt for designated charging parking spots for a quick fill-up of electrons. As the network grew wireless charging would take to the streets, possibly in urban areas first, then to the highways, then to the world.
There’s nothing particularly new about inductive power transfer for charging for small electronics. Nor is there anything new about using electric induction to energize large vehicles including light rail cars. (Bombardier Transportation offers this for some trams.) Mating battery electric vehicles to wireless inductive charging could, over time – a period of decades – change the world of transportation. (Work should be started right now!)
Economies of the world are looking for a new engine of job growth. What if that engine was to rebuild parking lots, roadways, highways and byways with Induction Power Transfer technology paid for by the drivers who use it? Wouldn’t that keep lots of people busy for a while?
by Bruce Mulliken
March 4, 2011 – Vol.15 No.50
Rolls Royce Motorcars.