Continental is demonstrating two new battery charging systems at this week’s CES in Las Vegas.
The German supplier’s automatic wireless charging system transfers charging power inductively, which means drivers no longer have to grapple with a cable. This system is accompanied by a new Continental micro navigation solution which allows the vehicle to be positioned precisely over the ground-based charging pad.
In future, further advances in the field of semi-automated driving technology will make it possible to do this without any driver action.
The second system from Continental eliminates driver apprehension in finding a compatible charging station. AllCharge technology can utilise any charging point, whatever the charging rate, type of current or voltage level.
AllCharge offers a further advantage as it allows the EV to double as a mobile power bank capable of supplying AC power off-board without the need for additional equipment.
“Continental offers a range of charging technologies developed on the basis of our cross-divisional know-how,” said Continental North America Powertrain Technology and Innovation director, Brian McKay. “The technologies we are showcasing at CES will make charging an electric vehicle simpler, more convenient and more efficient.
“This means the widely discussed issue of range anxiety will soon become largely irrelevant. Additionally, to bring additional features to the consumer, our AllCharge system gives electric vehicles the added utility to serve as a mobile energy source.”
Wireless, automated charging:
Inductive charging involves transferring charging power wirelessly from a ground-based charging pad to a receiver pad on the underside of the vehicle. Since it is important to locate the vehicle precisely over the ground pad, Continental has developed a micro navigation solution using a magnetic location system to position the vehicle up to ten times more accurately than a conventional parking assistant could.
Intelligent magnetic field sensors integrated in the ground pad receive signals from the EV and respond by sending sensor data to the vehicle via the vehicle’s existing wireless communication interface. The location system, which operates in the long-range frequency band, is capable of precisely detecting the ground pad even when it is covered by a layer of snow or leaves.
Charging then takes place fully automatically. Continuous safety monitoring is performed throughout the charging process.
The convenience of this inductive charging system, which is more than 90% efficient, means the driver never needs to miss a charging opportunity, however short the available time window. For example, a 20-minute shopping stop can be used to increase driving range by up to 12.5 mi since a charging rate of 11 kW, for which the Continental system is designed, is capable of providing approximately one mile of driving range for every 90 seconds of charging.
Additionally, the Continental system will allow the existing charging infrastructure to be used even more efficiently in the future. Future versions of the system will be able to automatically ‘re-park’ automated electric vehicles as soon as charging has been completed.
That would allow a succession of vehicles to be charged overnight at a single charging station. International standardisation efforts are currently underway aimed at ensuring any suitably equipped vehicle, regardless of make, will be able to use any inductive charging station.