Inductive Charging Offers Advantages in Electric Transportation

I’ve been lucky enough to derive so much pleasure from business travel – and to conduct so much business during personal trips — that I long ago ceased to try to separate the two.

Case in point: this trip back East for Christmas, where I carved out an hour and a half to meet with the CEO of Momentum Dynamics, less than an hour’s drive from my people’s homes in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Momentum Dynamics offer break-through technology in inductive (versus conductive) charging. For those scratching their heads here, we find this concept implemented in today’s electric toothbrushes, which are charged miraculously by merely replacing the brush – sans metal contacts — back into its base unit. Unbeknownst to the user, it sits there next to a modulating magnetic field that induces an electric current to flow into a conductive circuit within the toothbrush, recharging the battery.

Without doubt, inductive charging offers some advantages – especially relevant to certain applications of electric vehicles. Take the taxicab as a perfect example. At first blush, we might conclude that taxis are not particularly good candidates for electrification, since they travel a huge range over a period of, say, 8 or 10 consecutive hours. But now realize that most taxis queue up regularly at predictable places, like airports. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, without physically plugging in, a taxi could recharge as it waited for its next passenger to emerge from baggage claim?

EVWorld editor Bill Moore believes that inductive charging will eventually win the day, and, with all the issues of safety and convenience, I have to agree that he’s right. Those wishing to follow the matter should look at SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standard J2954. Perhaps the first thing to notice is that the standard is still evolving, meaning that many decisions remain to be made. Yet all the big players in electric transportation seem to be making this is huge priority, so don’t be surprised to see inductive charging in your automotive future.

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