Park and charge: University of British Columbia invents wireless vehicle charging technology

University of British Columbia researchers have invented a safe, efficient technology to wirelessly charge electric vehicles and successfully tested it on campus service vehicles.

“Wireless charging has been a much sought-after technical solution for everything from cell phones to electric cars,” says UBC Physics Prof. Lorne Whitehead. “A significant concern for charging cars wirelessly has been the high power and high frequency electromagnetic fields and their unknown, potential health effects on humans.”

Prof. Whitehead and his team invented a completely different method operating at a frequency 100 times lower and with negligible exposed electric fields.

Tests at UBC show the system is more than 90 per cent efficient compared to a cable charge. A full charge takes four hours and enables the vehicle to run throughout an eight-hour shift.

“One of the major challenges of electric vehicles is the need to connect cords and sockets in often cramped conditions and in bad weather,” says David Woodson, Managing Director of UBC Building Operations. “Since we began testing the system, the feedback from drivers has been overwhelmingly positive – all they have to do is park the car and the charging begins automatically.”

Source: University of British Columbia

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