Slow and inconvenient charging is one of the biggest hurdles that electric vehicles have to overcome before they can become mainstream, as it can take up to 6-7 hours to fully recharge an electric car’s battery, and it involves plugging heavy and unwieldy cables into public charging stations or normal wall sockets at home. That is why many car manufacturers are trying to develop more practical charging solutions for electric vehicles, with most of them focusing on wireless charging technology, that is widely regarded as a much more user-friendly alternative to the traditional conductive charging method.
Inductive Charging to Be Mainstream in a Decade
At the moment, wireless charging systems are still not commercially available, but a new report states that this will change pretty soon, claiming that the first inductive chargers for EVs available for purchase will appear in 2017. According to a report by Strategy Analytics, inductive charging will become commercial in as early as 2017, and could become commonplace in about 10 years.
“While the selling point for wireless charging systems is undoubtedly beneficial to the promotion of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, they will firstly be offered as costly optional purchase limited to mainly luxury auto brands, when they launch in 2017. Other challenges include the speed of finalizing standards, since it is critical for wireless charging systems to be interoperable, in instances where the consumer buys a different brand of electric vehicle or when charging on public infrastructures,” said Kevin Mak, Senior Analyst in the Powertrain, Body, Safety & Chassis (Automotive Electronics) Service at Strategy Analytics.
Almost 8 Million Wireless Chargers to Be In Operation by 2028
After first appearing in 2017, and only being available as an expensive option for luxury-car owners for a few years, Strategic Analytics’ report says that wireless chargers will start to enter the mass market and could replace conductive charging by 2028, when 7.9 million systems are expected to be in use.
“Once the hurdles of cost and standardization can be cleared after the first five years of deployment, then the long-term prospects could realize a mass market potential, with the possibility that they could even displace conductive charging systems by 2028,” added Mak.
The market for wireless charging systems for electric vehicles is said to have huge growth potential. Navigant Research estimates that by the end of the decade, inductive charging will become the predominant method for charging electric cars, predicting that by 2022, wireless charging systems will reach an annual sales rate of 300,000.
Faster and More Convenient
Wireless charging has numerous advantages over conductive charging. For starters, it eliminates the need for drivers to get out of their cars and plug their car’s cable into an outlet. What’s more, inductive charging equipment could be built into roads, recharging electric vehicles as they go, which would allow EV owners to cover longer distances without having to worry about running out of charge in the middle of the highway with no charging station in sight. This would eliminate the issue of range anxiety, which poses a major obstacle that is holding back electric-vehicle sales.
With that in mind, it could be said that wireless charging technology could play a key role for accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles.