Electric Vehicle Wireless Charging

1. Problem: Electronic Vehicle Wired Charging   

The lack of public charging options creates range anxiety that prevents internal combustion engine car drivers from buying an electric car. Electric vehicle charging with a cable generates friction when outdoors in cold or wet weather. Although the J1772 electric vehicle charging standard is gaining widespread adoption, driver must still make sure each charging station works with their car. Public charging stations increase street furniture in communities. Traditional public charging stations deployment can create trip hazards for pedestrians. 

2. Solution: Electronic Vehicle Wireless Charging

Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Systems (WEVCS) reduce friction for drivers by preventing the need to plug in. Wireless charging also reduces street clutter and the hazard of tripping over cables. Once a driver parks above a charging pad, the car starts charging via resonant magnetic induction. Automakers and suppliers have agreed on a wireless power transfer (WPT) standard to charge electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. SAE International develops and promotes standards for the aerospace, commercial vehicle and automotive industries. In November 2020, the SAE J2954 inductive charging standard was accepted by car manufacturers. Key features include:

— Wireless signals sent between the car and charging system to initiate and stop charging.
— A charging pad that is about one square meter and receiving pad integrated under the car. 
— Enabling increased interoperability between hardware and software across manufacturers.
— Achieving 94% efficiency compared to wired connections ranging from 3.3 to 20 kilowatts.
— The potential to enable autonomous cars to charge themselves without human interaction.

Wireless Charging Companies:

— Witricity provides 3.6kW to 11kW wireless charging from in-ground placements in asphalt and cement with foreign object detection, live object detection, and position detection.
— Plugless Power provides 3.3kW and 7.2kW wireless EV charging stations. Purchase of the charger includes hardware and installation to upgrade an EV for wireless charging.
— Wave provides fast wireless EV charging for buses with deployments up to 250kW.  

Dynamic WEVCS is a potential future technology to charge electric vehicles while driving by embedding roads, such as highway sections, with charging transmitters.

3. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the wireless charging ecosystem include: 

Wireless Charging Providers: Witricity, Plugless Power, Wave and other providers. 
Car Manufacturers: BMW, Honda, GM, and Nissan are all Witricity development partners.
Consumers: Drivers must buy future cars with EV wireless charging capabilities. 
Real Estate Owners: Public and private site owners must approve wireless charging sites. 
Utility Companies: Energy distributors must support standards and interconnection to the grid. 
Policymakers: Politicians must generate policy that allows wireless charging deployment. 

4. Implementation

It  remains questionable if wireless charging will be implemented and deployed at scale. Cost and deployment hurdles must be solved in order for wireless charging to gain traction. Wireless charging requires: 

1. Refinement of wireless charging systems to provide auto manufacturers confidence to deploy this technology. 
2. Wireless charging pilots with public and private partners to get support for widespread deployment. 
3. Assuming barriers are overcome, each site will require approval from public and private real estate owners. 
4. Once a site is confirmed, ground pads will require utility companies to confirm interconnection requirements. 
5. Upon gaining utility approval, ground pads will require permitting, leasing, provisioning, and construction. 
6. The wireless charging system can then be installed. 
7. Drivers can then gain the benefits of wireless charging. 
8. The wireless charging system will then require operating and maintenance by the provider. 


Sources:

— Wireless EV charging gets a boost: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1130055_wireless-ev-charging-gets-a-boost-single-standard-will-harmonize-systems-up-to-11-kw
— Wireless Charging Can Boost Acceptance of Electric Vehicles https://passive-components.eu/wireless-charging-can-boost-acceptance-of-electric-vehicles/
— Witricity https://witricity.com
— Plugless Power: https://www.pluglesspower.com
— Wave Bus Charging: https://waveipt.com

Micromobility Charging

1. Problem: Dockless Micromobility Charging  

Micromobility companies have traditionally relied on dockless parking and charging. This results in cluttered sidewalks with increased risk of fire from charging multiple e-scooters and e-bikes at residential locations. Micromobility service providers face challenges charging and maintaining fleets. Companies rely on gig economy workers to scour cities and charge depleted e-vehicles at home overnight. As companies scale, they pile e-scooters and e-bikes in internal combustion engine vehicles to recharge in warehouses. This limits environmental benefits, availability, and potential revenue. This charging ecosystem is expensive so new charging solutions are needed. 


2. Solution: Universal Micromobility Charging Stations

Companies are working to solve these challenges by developing universal micromobility charging stations. GetCharged, Inc. (Charge) provides micromobility stations for riders and service operators to charge e-scooters and e-bikes. Charge is dedicated to building the largest network of electric charging, storage, and service stations for e-vehicles. These stations remove clutter on city sidewalks and reduce hazards for pedestrians. The first Charge docking station was launched in August, 2019 on Broadway between 24th and 25th street. Key features:

— Charge’s docking charging stations are compatible with most e-scooter and e-bike brands. 
— Universal charging stations connected to the grid can fully charge a battery in 3 to 6 hours.
— In addition to charging, docks provide adaptable micromobility vehicle parking and locking.
— Docking charging stations are installed in private garages, lots, and spaces.
— Charge is deploying over 400 locations in NYC and 6,000 across the US and Europe.

Other Micromobility Charging Station Providers: 

— PBSC organizes, secures, and charges e-bikes and e-scooters while reducing operating costs.
— Swiftmile has a solar-powered charging station with digital display for transit details and ads.
— Kuhmute is a modular and universal charging station for micromobility providers and cities. 
— Duckt combines a dockless and docked approach with a unique locking system. 

Universal Battery Swapping 

Universal battery swapping is an alternative approach for micromobility charging. This solution reduces waiting time since batteries can be swapped in a few minutes. The battery swap can be done anywhere with battery swap cabinets taking up less space than public charging. However, universal batteries face challenges for e-mobility company adoption. When battery technology is upgraded, the charging network requires upgrading so this solution prohibitively expensive.  

3. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the micromobility ecosystem include: 

Charging Service Providers: Companies including Charge, PBSC, Swiftmile, Kuhmute, and Duckt provide innovation micromobility charging solutions. 
Micromobility Service Providers: Companies including Lime, Bolt, Bird, Revel provide e-scooters in various markets that require charging.   
Consumers: City residents become members to micromobility service providers to efficiently travel around neighborhoods. 
Real Estate Owners: Private parking owners and the Department of Transportation in cities become stakeholders to provide sites for micromobility charging stations. 
Utilities: ConEdison in New York and PG&E in California are examples of utilities that must manage the deployment of micromobility charging stations.
Policymakers: City politicians are shaping micromobility charging policy and regulation.


4. Implementation

The micromobility charging service providers take the following key steps to deploy:

1. Meet with public or private real estate owner to gain approval for charging station project.
2. Once interest is confirmed, meet with utility to confirm project feasibility at the location. 
3. Gain approval for charging station installation construction, trenching, and permitting. 
4. Install the micromobility charging station at the desired location. 
5. Operate and maintain the charging station once up and running. 

Sources:

— Charge Unveils First-Of-Its-Kind Micromobility Charging, Docking And Service Station In New York City:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/charge-unveils-first-of-its-kind-micromobility-charging-docking-and-service-station-in-new-york-city-300895817.html
— Charge: https://www.charge.us/    
— Charging stations vs battery swaps: What’s better for micromobility? https://thenextweb.com/news/charging-stations-battery-swaps-whats-better-micromobility-syndication

Smart Palms: WiFi Palm Trees in Dubai, UAE

Each solar powered tree is a sustainable recharge station with eight access points.  It provides complimentary WiFi out to 100 meters. In addition to being a hotspot, the Smart Palm displays security and emergency features and is completely powered by leaf-shaped photovoltaic solar panels.  Public information and government notices are displayed on digital outdoor screens with an opportunity for paid advertisements as well.  Users are encouraged to sit and relax while using the high-speed recharging stations (2.5 times faster) and free internet.

SmartPalm2
Smart Palm Features

Technology

  • Provides internet to beachgoers and park visitors
  • Currently installed at Zabeel Park and at the beach near Burj Al Arab in Dubai (with plans for expansion)
  • About 260 people use the wifi service each day, with 31 devices recharged daily
  • UAE has a high smartphone concentration; connectivity in demand
  • Fits Smart City plan as build up to hosting next “World Expo 2020” (held every 5 years)
  • Establishes valuable network for mobile data capture

Sustainability Problem

  • Clean and green approach to power supply
  • Renewable form of energy; stores power for later use
  • Keeps citizens and visitors connected
  • Reduces demand on traditional power grid
  • Dubai is most populous city in UAE
  • Uses resources from the natural world
  • Future application: Smart Palm technology can expand to more cities/locations

Technology Stakeholders

  • D Idea Media, founding company/creators
  • Local government and agencies that disseminate public information (Dubai Municipality, etc.)
  • City planners and managers who access data (usage, mobility, etc.)
  • Suppliers of component parts
  • Individual smartphone users/passersby who access or view touch screens
  • Retailers, service providers and researchers who value collected data

Technology Implementation

  • Determine economic efficiency/profitability; cost of Smart Palm tech vs ROI (value of data collected)
  • Start with pilot project, monitor results
  • Adjust locations as necessary; replicate in desirable areas
  • Share new technology and best practices

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