OPINION Wireless Charging and Our Autonomous Electric Future

OPINION Wireless Charging and Our Autonomous Electric Future

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One of the biggest problems for those of us who have electric cars is charging. Chargers that drop the charging time to a few minutes have been coming to market, but the cars that can use those chargers haven’t yet begun to ship.

What this means for most of us is that we are talking anywhere from 45 minutes to several days to fully charge our cars, depending on the charging system we have access to. Another problem is that it is still easy to forget to plug in our cars at night. Further, if we forget to close the charging door when we are done, we’ll likely rip it off accidentally when we drive out of our garage. Using a high-performance charger in the rain is both a very wet and potentially far more dangerous proposition.

Wireless charging addresses some of these problems. The car charges when it is over the grid, you can build roads and parking places with charging built in, and even with current limited battery technology, you could, as a result, make fueling an electric car far more pleasurable (pretty much transparent) than filling up a gas car.

That said, two huge problems have prevented the technology from advancing: 1) It was expensive; and 2) there were two major competing efforts — one from WiTricity and one from Qualcomm. Well that second problem was fixed last week, and it should result in fixing the cost problem as well.

I’ll share some thoughts on electric cars with a focus on wireless charging and then close with my product of the week: […]

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