Wireless charging soon possible?

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robot charge

Automotive supplier Continental recently unveiled a “charging robot” that aims to make charging more convenient.Continental has partnered with startup Volterio on the project. The two companies aim to develop “near-production” systems by mid-2022, with mass production targeted for 2024, Continental said in a press release.

The hardware appears to be similar to wireless inductive charging equipment that other companies have demonstrated. A robotic ground unit linked to a power source automatically connects to a receiver mounted under the car, Continental explained. However, unlike inductive charging, the energy flows through a physical connection, Continental noted. This means there is less energy loss than with induction charging, which relies on a magnetic field to transfer energy to the vehicle. Continental claims that the prototype system is capable of charging at 22kW AC or 50kW DC.

Continental’s design at least means that drivers will not have to park precisely over a fixed wireless charging point. The robot can account for up to 27cm of misalignment.Automated charging could become more important if self-driving cars become more widespread.Even human-driven EVs could benefit from a more streamlined charging procedure, however – and this could be a point of differentiation for the luxury car home charging experience.

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