Most electric vehicles are charged at dedicated, plug-in stations but the future may be in what researchers are calling Dynamic Wireless Charging (DWC).
University of Auckland Engineering PhD candidate Ramesh Majhi, Faculty of Engineering senior lecturer Dr Prakash Ranjitkar and Business School research fellow Dr Selena Sheng developed a simulation to test this advanced technology.
"DWC pads are embedded into the road and use electromagnetic induction to charge electric vehicles while they're moving," Sheng said.
This technology could accelerate the transition to sustainable transport, making recharging seamless.There would be no need to drive to an EV charging station and certainly no need to visit a petrol station.
Electric vehicles only require charging about once a day but at plug-in stations this takes 9 minutes on average, a wait that adds up for commuters, especially as their capacity is tested by more widespread EV adoption.
The study tested the effects of traffic and DWC pad strength and sizes to find out whether they could be worth using over regular plug-in stations.
It found if the charging pads are strong enough, they'd only have to take up 12% of a highway to keep a vehicle fully charged.
This means they could quickly become a money-saver as well as a time-saver because they don't suffer from limited capacity, as long as traffic flows.
The study's authors wrote "urbanisation and the need to improve green mobility have paved the way for electric vehicle (EV) adoption that reduces greenhouse gas emission".
"Dynamic wireless charging offers a viable solution to mitigate issues related to the limited driving range, higher battery capacity (resulting in higher cost), and longer charging time of EVs ... leading to a green city equipped with a smart transportation network."