Several factors drive the need for clean, electrically powered vehicles: first, the negative environmental impact from increased fossil fuel burning, and second, the world’s increasing appetite for limited fossil fuel supplies. One solution is the recent mass-produced, private-use electric or hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) that are just now entering the market and electric buses for public transportation systems. The travel range of electric vehicles is limited by battery capacity. Therefore on a daily basis, electric vehicle users need reliable and easy-to-use charging infrastructures to get the most out of their vehicles. Although EVs are currently designed for plug-in charging, many EV experts agree that fully automatic charging will be a key factor to the success of electric powered mobility – called “e-mobility”. With these systems, users don’t have to be actively involved in plugging and unplugging their vehicles.
Conductix-Wampfler is active in both current plug-in charging systems and “opportunity charging”.
For plug-in charging, Conductix-Wampfler provides spring-driven cable reels. With the right cables and connectors, the reel system provides ergonomic access to the cable when needed. This method does, however, require users to actively plug in their vehicles.
Conductix-Wampfler is also at the forefront of “opportunity charging” systems that use contactless Inductive Power Transfer (IPT®) technology. The vehicle automatically picks up a charge when temporarily stopped or parked – or where ever the opportunity exists. Wireless charging systems are much more user friendly and convenient, as operators do not need to plug or unplug cables. Opportunity charging systems rely on Conductix-Wampfler wireless and contactless IPT® Charge solutions. Our expertise with IPT® comes from our extensive industrial applications experience. Since 1997, the IPT® technology has been applied to conveyor systems and material handling applications. IPT® Charge systems now operate around the world in “live” installations. The most familiar of these are in Turin and Genoa, Italy. At Turin, for example, a fleet of 23 electric buses are being recharged daily using IPT® Charge systems. Besides electric buses, Conductix-Wampfler is heavily involved in E-Charge for electric cars. Conductix-Wampfler has teamed up with Daimler to test the technology with private passenger vehicles. This project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety. The promise of “no hassle” electric vehicle charging is very real and just around the corner.