The current charging of electric vehicles is fairly straightforward; however, due to its limited options, it poses the risk of range anxiety. Therefore to reduce this fear, new technology can be introduced which would eliminate this.
The first technology would be something similar to that of what is currently invented on smartphones, which is wireless charging. However, in reality, for this to work, a large amount of upfront capital is required and integration into public settings could pose a barrier to entry.
The most likely technology which we may see the soonest could be that of a portable EV charger. Alike that of the mobile phone charger, a portable EV charger will be able to charge your EV whilst driving and be able to charge your EV in places with limited electricity.
How will electric vehicles be charged in the future?
When electric cars first became popular, a term called ‘range anxiety’ emerged. Nowadays, it’s impossible to talk about electric vehicles and their charging systems without mentioning them. The term refers to the fear that your electric vehicle will run out of charge before you can reach your destination, leaving you stranded. This has led to discussing the future of electric vehicle charging to ensure this is never a problem.
We will step towards sustainability and global emission reduction targets if we achieve sufficient charging to remove this range anxiety. So let’s look at the possible situations of the future of electric vehicle charging.
Wireless electric vehicle charging
While the concept of wirelessly charging a car, similar to how we charge our phones, may seem almost impossible, it is on the verge of widespread adoption. Unlike smartphones, which can be effortlessly placed on wireless charging ports, electric vehicles present distinctive challenges due to their higher power demands. This means that although it may very soon be possible to charge a car wirelessly, the question of how much this energy use will impact the environment comes to mind.
Enabling wireless electric vehicle charging requires careful consideration of two main factors:
- The integration of wireless charging into public settings incurs associated costs
- Costs of adding chargers into the vehicle itself so it can wirelessly charge
Many EV manufacturers are working on this technology already- it is no longer a myth. It is just a matter of improving and innovating the current technology to be efficient and available for commercial use.
Portable electric vehicle charging
The future of electric vehicle charging could be portable. Just like when you bring a portable charger for long road trips or a plane flight where you know you won’t have much access to electricity, mobile electric vehicle charging will allow the owner to bring the charger to the vehicle.
The Netherlands has already begun implementing this by creating a portable electric vehicle charging station that can be relocated to areas with limited access to electricity. This would be very useful for car dealerships or recovery vehicles that can come to you and charge your vehicle when you run out of battery in the middle of nowhere.
Battery storage systems
The future of electric vehicle charging has to do with battery storage units. Home charging is often a straightforward process for many EV owners. They can monitor the additional cost of their electricity bill and pay it accordingly. However, the price adds up for larger businesses with large numbers of employees charging their vehicles simultaneously at work.
The solution to this is a battery storage unit. By implementing these systems, the batteries can take up a heavy load of electricity during peak hours which smooths out the energy spikes that cause the most damage to your electricity bill.
While the technology for smaller, residential-size battery options still requires improvement, we anticipate witnessing numerous advancements in the near future that will make this a viable option for homes as well.
As electric vehicle technology advances and our roads become electrified, more efficient and sustainable, electric vehicle charging infrastructure will also come along. As we progress, we will likely witness a transformation in the automotive industry, transitioning from conventional gas-guzzling vehicles to electric-powered ones. This shift will significantly change the technology employed in powering these vehicles.
As the popularity of EVs has increased, so has the demand for charging infrastructure. The concept of smart charging has been introduced to manage the increased load. Smart charging is an advanced system that optimises the charging process for EVs by collecting and distributing electricity based on real-time factors. These factors include electricity prices and grid load. The benefits of this system include better cost optimisation, minimising strain on the electricity grid, load balancing and faster demand response.
Smart charging also allows users to download a mobile app to see their charging progress. If the owner only needs a certain amount for a quick trip, they will know when to leave and have adequate charge.
If smart charging becomes the standard charging system, charging will be much more efficient.
Researchers are currently working on what will be the biggest electric vehicle charging development ever. The concept involves embedding coils beneath the road surface for road charging, enabling electric vehicles to be charged while in motion.
If this development occurs and is present on all main roads, it will almost entirely remove the need for public charging stations. You can also travel much further on a singular charge and not have range anxiety.
Researchers and developers across the world are currently testing and developing this technology. Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and the United States of America actively participate in projects and advancements in this field.
The potential roadblock
The main roadblock to making these changes is the cost. However, there is a way to overcome this issue. The solution begins with creating a sustainable EV market that involves public-private collaboration. This market will provide a reliable foundation to build from.
The following requirement is policy support. As previously mentioned, range anxiety is one of the main reasons people turn away from EVs. To alleviate this fear, we require implementing changes, such as the previously suggested idea, which will necessitate financial resources. We need changes like the previously proposed idea to eliminate this fear, necessitating financial investment.
If Australian policies introduce financial incentives, they will compel State Governments to utilise funds for implementing changes on a smaller scale. Once improvements in emissions and sustainability demonstrate their effectiveness, it may become imperative to prioritise these changes.
With the technology behind electric vehicles constantly improving, their popularity will continue to increase. As charging technology advances, the primary concern of range anxiety will gradually diminish. This results in EVs being the most used vehicle and a more sustainable world.