Momentum Dynamics Announces Dual-Power Breakthrough in Automatic Inductive Charging

  • Dual-Power capability allows low-power depot or home charging with high-power opportunity charging helping accelerate broader adoption of wireless charging sooner than expected

Momentum Dynamics, which has been commercializing fully automated inductive (wireless) charging for electric vehicles (EVs) since 2014, announced today a major breakthrough with enormous implications for the EV industry: a wireless system that provides the ability to charge light-duty EVs at both high (50-75kW) and low (7-22kW) power. This capability will enable automatic charging at-home or in-depot charging as well as the convenience of high-power opportunistic charging in public settings.

momentum dynamics dual power
Taxi approaching 75kW wireless charger in Oslo, Norway

The so-called “dual-power” mode capability will enable cars and light duty trucks and vans to intelligently recognize and charge a vehicle battery at any power using a common inductive component on the vehicle. The achievement was led by Momentum’s team of engineers at its global headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Momentum Dynamics CEO, Andy Daga, said:

The ability to manage any power level with a single device represents a breakthrough that will see the broader deployment of wireless charging and accelerated adoption of EVs. This fulfills our vision to offer a ubiquitous and fully automated charging solution in which the car is capable of charging itself without human action. Charging a car or even a truck should be an effortless ‘background operation’ that no one thinks about – much like electronic toll collection has become. This is the step-change advantage that has been needed to increase the adoption rate of electric vehicles. We are beginning to see demand for hands-free charging as a key element of passenger vehicle electrification.

Perhaps it’s ironic that the state that was the birthplace of the world’s modern petroleum industry is now providing the long-term solution that will transition vehicles away from gasoline to make EVs ubiquitous around the world.

The breakthrough enables a highly efficient system of chargers that can provide energy to EVs in locations where there is limited power such as a home or office, but also at public charging locations where there is typically much higher power for faster charging.  It is also important to consider that plug-in chargers tend to suffer from low utilization, as low as 5% or less, and are often out of service.  Wireless charging encourages more frequent charging when operated in public locations, and the economics are more favorable to install higher power chargers in public locations.

For delivery vans and trucks, it means that vehicles can wirelessly charge at low power at their garage, but also pick up a substantial range-extending supplemental charge while stopped for short times at a loading dock, along a commercial loading zone, at delivery points, or at convenience markets.  This is likely to be very important for delivery fleets and to postal fleets that run long suburban and rural routes. It is also the only reasonable solution to charging autonomous, self-driving EVs.

In real terms this means that a vehicle equipped with a Momentum charger can wirelessly and automatically charge in any location and make the best use of the available power.  By contrast, other wireless chargers have been relegated to a single use, e.g., charging only cars and only at low power, limiting their use to home garages, or in some cases, only heavy-duty vehicles at high power.

Bob Kacergis, Momentum’s Chief Commercial Officer, added:

Our interactions with OEMs and light duty vehicle operators indicate that they agree with this emerging vision – enabling unattended and automatic hands-free charging anywhere offers an elegant solution for those who have a home garage and intend to charge there, and for the same vehicle to be charged rapidly while stopping at retail locations. The effect is unlimited range without having to think about it.

Kacergis also pointed out that automakers are concerned about preserves a vehicle’s resale value, and this new technology preserves the ability to sell an EV to a new owner who does not have access to a garage and who must rely on fast public charging.

The technical breakthrough centers on the ability to commercialize a system of chargers for light-duty vehicles that operates with the combination of high efficiency across all power levels from 1 kW to 75 kW (comparable to any plug-in charger), and that conforms with the same electromagnetic regulatory standards that apply to all electric appliances.  Momentum’s technology has been engineered for the future to allow for bidirectional power flow, or “Vehicle-to-Everything” at both high- and low-power levels, as circumstances may require.

This article was originally published by Momentum Wireless Power.


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