Innovation in Motion with Electric Green's Wireless EV Charging

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Extracted from InsightTech podcast episode, Martin and Statzon discuss various aspects of wireless EV charging and its application in e-mobility. 

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Innovation in Motion with Electric Green's Wireless EV Charging 

In this episode, we will cover the following topics:   

  • Advantages of wireless charging  
  • Target customer segments  
  • Home adoption  
  • Challenges for Electric Green and the wireless charging industry
  • Role of wireless charging in autonomous vehicles
  • Emerging technologies and trends 

Martin Beaumont, CEO at Electric Green 

Martin Beaumont is the CEO of Electric Green which develops innovative inductive charging solutions so vehicles can charge wirelessly. Martin's experience spans various industries including healthcare and telecoms infrastructure with Motorola. In the last decade he has focused on scaling-up technology and cleantech companies as both an investor and hands-on executive.  

Wireless charging, or induction charging, is a technology that is poised to change the way we drive electric vehicles. While it is not yet mainstream, it is rapidly gaining momentum with a booming 56% growth rate, according to market research from Next Move Strategy Consulting. Wireless charging is expected to offer a lot of convenience, with its big selling point being hassle-free charging. With this technology, you simply park your car and it will charge without needing to be plugged in. This convenience could make electric cars more appealing and lead to higher adoption rates. However, this technology is expensive and may be more complicated to deploy due to standardization, compatibility, and interoperability issues. Nevertheless, Electric Green is ready to propel progress in the field. 


Statzon: Could you share what Electric Green is working on concerning wireless charging? 

Martin: Electric Green's parent company focuses on enhancing energy grid efficiency with the capacitive transfer system (CTS). CTS improves power distribution by reducing impedance, enabling longer-distance transmission with minimal voltage drop, thus requiring less copper in cables or enabling higher power transmission. 
Initially concentrating on grid and distribution networks, Electric Green expanded into wireless charging after discovering CTS's efficient transmission of higher frequencies, such as 50-60 kHz. This led to exploration in wireless EV charging, where standard frequencies are around 85 kHz. 

Research found that CTS can transmit power at 85 kHz up to 20 times further than traditional cables, prompting Electric Green to develop a centralized charging architecture. This design, with a common CTS backbone, allows for multiple charging pads to be connected, offering greater flexibility and scalability than traditional cables. 

As a result, Electric Green can achieve economies of scale, reduce charging infrastructure costs, and deploy wireless charging on a large scale swiftly. 

Statzon: Many TV experts and industry professionals are skeptical about wireless charging due to the challenges being addressed and concerns about efficiency losses during charging. In what situations do you believe wireless charging will be the most advantageous? 

Martin: Wireless charging offers numerous advantages over traditional plug-in methods. While plugging in has been a starting point, there's substantial room for improvement. Consumers deserve a more seamless charging experience. Bloomberg's economic transition model compared to the net-zero model shows a 30% gap in achieving net zero emissions by 2050, highlighting the challenge in meeting sustainability goals. Wireless charging emerges as a solution to accelerate EV adoption, akin to how consumers readily embrace wireless technology in daily life, like Wi-Fi and remote controls. 
For EV owners, wireless charging eliminates cable hassle, and enables convenient topping up, enhancing accessibility. In fleet operations, wireless charging seamlessly integrates into daily business activities, enhancing efficiency and safety. Moreover, it facilitates opportunistic charging scenarios, like taxis and ambulances charging while idle, further enhancing operational efficiency. At Electric Green, we focus on reducing the cost barrier linked with wireless charging. Implementing a one-to-many charging infrastructure, we estimate significant cost reductions—approximately 61% for vehicle-side costs and 45% for ground infrastructure. We're committed to addressing this cost issue directly. 

Free EV charging market data

Statzon: Could you describe your area of business, and the customer segments you serve? 

Martin: Currently, Electric Green is a pre-revenue business as we continue to develop our technology. Our solution targets both fleet operations and individual consumers, with a focus on fleet adoption ahead of public adoption. Specifically, we are targeting return-to-depot fleets, such as those operated by Royal Mail, and rental and leasing companies, such as car hire companies with large vehicle fleets concentrated in specific locations like airports. 

For instance, consider airports, where a single vehicle company operates 2 million vehicles globally. However, a significant portion of these vehicles, for example about 30,000, is stationed at Atlanta Airport alone. Managing the charging process for such a large number of vehicles, with constant plugging in and unplugging, presents a significant challenge. Therefore, we believe that locations like these are excellent focal points for implementing wireless charging solutions. 

Statzon: You mentioned that as wireless chargers become more widespread, they'll benefit from economies of scale, making the technology more affordable over time. How long do you think it will be before it becomes practical for someone like me to have a wireless charger installed in my home parking spot? And is it realistic for homes to use wireless chargers? 

Martin: I believe that homes will begin to have wireless charging options relatively soon. You can currently retrofit wireless charging onto your vehicle. However, as I mentioned, the challenge lies in the high cost of doing so. I anticipate that the first wireless charging option from an OEM, factory-fitted, will likely be available by late 2024 or early 2025. Therefore, I think that in the near future, early adopters of wireless charging will start to install these systems in their homes. 


Statzon: What do you consider to be the biggest challenges for Electric Green, and the wireless charging industry as a whole? 

Martin: The most challenging aspect is OEM interfacing with other OEMs. OEMs currently have a lot on their plate with the transition to electrification. Introducing a slightly different system, albeit better, can be seen as a distraction from their current focus on electrification. Persuading OEMs that this is what consumers want is the challenge. We aim to achieve this through demonstrator projects that showcase the capabilities of our technology and gather feedback. 

For instance, we have a government-backed grant project with Royal Mail, the UK's largest last-mile fleet. They face challenges in electrifying their fleet due to staff movement and the need to avoid obstructions. Our wireless charging solution allows us to place the charger discreetly around the corner, enabling operatives to carry out their work safely without hindrance. Additionally, this project involves bidirectional charging, demonstrating the potential for significant additional revenue through a virtual power plant. Gathering feedback from such projects, we demonstrate to OEMs the benefits and demand for wireless charging solutions.  

If cost-effective, consumers are likely to prefer the convenience of wireless systems over traditional plug-in options. 

Statzon: Do the current standards cover how plug-in chargers work? I'm curious about their operability, especially concerning payment issues similar to those in current plug-in systems. I'd like all plug-in chargers to work like Tesla superchargers, automatically recognizing your car and charging your account without extra apps or actions. Are the current standards addressing this, or can cars even communicate with the charger? 

Martin: The answer is that standardization is currently being developed. Some aspects are already established, such as the SAE J2954 standard, mainly for wireless charging. The 'plug and charge' feature you mentioned is covered by another standard in the wireless sector. Wireless technology needs to match innovations in billing and payment for plug-in charging services. This means updating standards to fit wireless charging requirements. 

Also, various organizations, like CHAdeMO in Europe and elsewhere, are uniting wireless charging stakeholders for interoperability testing. While standards are crucial, practical testing in real-world situations is essential to ensure functionality. CHAdeMO is leading this effort, and we're pleased to participate as well. 

Free EV charging market data

Statzon: In the future, it's possible that I could simply drive to the local supermarket or office and not worry about charging my car—it could charge while I'm parked. At least in the US, there are already many autonomous vehicles being tested on the roads in Europe. However, legislation is slowing down the adoption of autonomous vehicles. I believe wireless charging might be essential, especially if you intend to have a fleet of autonomous taxis. 

Martin: Absolutely, cars need wireless charging to truly become autonomous, eliminating the need for human intervention in plugging and unplugging. Wireless charging will drive autonomous vehicle adoption and facilitate bidirectional energy flow, revolutionizing charging infrastructure and electric vehicle ownership. For example, with an 80% charge, a vehicle can contribute power back to the grid or building, altering ownership models, especially for fleets. Royal Mail's fleet, for instance, could potentially earn up to £500 per vehicle annually through bidirectional charging. With nearly 38,000 depot-based vehicles, this could generate up to £19 million annually. This easy access to battery assets will be a game-changer. 

Statzon: Anybody with a large fleet would essentially enter the power market competition by offering electricity during peak hours and leveraging the opportunity. 

Martin: Completely. The focus is currently on fast charging, especially along major roads, which requires expensive upgrades to the grid. Once this is achieved, attention will shift to longer dwell-time destination charging. Wireless solutions, like Electric Green's, can tailor charging speeds to user needs in these scenarios. 


Consider commuters who drive to the railway station daily. They don't require much power to travel from home to the station and back, and their dwell time is quite long. Therefore, they don't need high-power chargers to simply top up their battery, similar to how one tops up a phone. Scaling the charging infrastructure to match the user's needs reduces costs for charge point operators, leading to a faster return on investment. Ultimately, this translates to lower costs for drivers. I believe wireless charging will have a significant impact in these destination charging areas as well. 
Additionally, as battery raw materials become scarcer, wireless charging offers the advantage of topping up while multitasking. This benefits industries like taxi services, allowing them to use smaller batteries without sacrificing productivity. 


Statzon: How do you perceive the competitive landscape for you in wireless charging? 

Martin: There's space for everyone. Currently, it's not widely available. In the UK, only a small portion of vehicles are electric, leaving much of the market untapped. As wireless charging becomes more accessible, there will still be plenty of opportunities for adoption. It could encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles, especially environmentally conscious and financially stable early adopters. Once we surpass these early adopters, we need to offer a better experience to the wider market. Therefore, I'm not concerned that wireless charging is late to the market. I believe it's entering at just the right time, as the mass market is becoming ready to install and use it. 


Statzon: Is there any current trend or emerging technology that you are looking forward to, something that you think would drastically change or revolutionize the market? 

Martin: I believe OEM adoption, particularly in areas such as driverless autonomous vehicles, scarcity of battery materials, affordable charging infrastructure, and V2X bidirectional technology, will significantly impact the rate of adoption, with wireless playing a crucial role. One area of interest currently being tested is dynamic wireless charging, also known as electrified roads, which charges vehicles while they are in motion. This technology could reduce the need for large batteries in vehicles, particularly heavy goods vehicles, resulting in cost and weight savings. While dynamic wireless charging may not be ubiquitous, it has the potential to make a significant difference in certain scenarios in the future. 



As you mentioned, OEMs are likely to introduce wireless charging capability in their production vehicles by 2024 or 2025. Do you anticipate entering production and beginning the installation of chargers in the near future? 

Martin: We'll aim to commercially install our charging infrastructure from around 2027. Before then, we'll conduct demonstration projects, beginning next year and likely continuing into 2026. Currently, the lead time for OEMs to adopt wireless charging technology is three years, meaning we need to engage with them well in advance before it reaches the mass market. These discussions are ongoing. Innovation takes time to implement; it starts slowly and gradually gains momentum. Once consumers see successful examples, they'll likely choose wireless-enabled vehicles over plug-in ones. 

Free EV charging market data


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