Renault to trial wireless electric car recharging
Renault is going to address one of the disadvantages of electric cars by trialling a wireless recharging system.
The system uses inductive charging, just like those fancy inductive hobs you see in kitchen shops. The idea is that cars drive over what looks like a rubber mat in the road and, so long as the charging point of the car is within 50 cm of the mat, charging begins. In answer to the inevitable question, yes they are pet friendly. They generate a magnetic field, so Tiddles can safely curl up on it if he wants to, even while it is charging.
The wireless charging system is supplied by Qualcomm, which has spent years developing the technology. It is already in use in some factory applications, where fork-lift-type vehicles are charged as they drive around the factory floor. There has even been a test bus route in Turin where the buses are charged as they drive.
In an ideal world, electric vehicles could be inductively charged as they drive up and down the M1, but that is still a very long way away. However, it is possible that, in five years time, electric car owners (and there should be a few more of them by then) will be able to charge their cars without having to plug in any cables. Anyone who has connected a heavy charging cable on a dark, rainy night and then slung it in the boot knows what a mess it makes of both driver and car.