Tech companies and car manufacturers are pumping out batteries like there’s no tomorrow. We’ve seen a plethora of battery discoveries in the past couple of years, and we know that the technology is only going to get greater. You know things are starting to change when the self-driving cars of tomorrow will be electric and have the ability to charge up while driving, without human intervention. Qualcomm Technologies on Thursday demonstrated the ability to juice two Renault Kangoo EVs without human intervention while driving at highway speeds. The San Diego company’s dynamic electric vehicle charging (or DEVC) technology can wirelessly send up 20 kilowatts of inductive charging power to a compatible EV.
“The vehicles can pick up charge in both directions along the track, and in reverse, further showcasing how the Qualcomm Halo DEVC system has been designed to support real-world implementation of dynamic charging,” the San Diego-based tech company said in a press release in advance of the demonstration.
The two Renault Kangoo EVs were able to charge dynamically simultaneously, and could pick up charging in both directions of a 100-metre test track. The test took place on a €9 million track called FABRIC built by Vedecom, at Satory Versailles in France. FABRIC stands for “Feasibility analysis and development of on-road charging solutions for future electric vehicles.”
If the technology works, it could be used in a system that lets you summon a car using a smartphone, get picked up where you are and be whisked to your destination, all autonomously. Inductive roads and DEVC are the future of charging on road. Moreover, the nascent technology has the potential to shape the way future EVs are built and how much they cost. Widespread adoption of the technology means future EVs using smaller and light batteries.
Qualcomm plans to share the DEVC charging system with Vedecom, which "will evaluate the operation, safety and efficiency of energy transfer to the vehicles for a wide range of practical scenarios, including vehicle identification and authorization on entering the track, power level agreement between track and vehicle, speed and alignment of vehicle along the track."