FP7 UNPLUGGED project - inductive charging for electric vehicles
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UNPLUGGED in first international symposium and exhibition of Electric Vehicles EVS27

The challenge of developing inductive charging technology on the track is taking account the growing demand for electric vehicles EV, allowing a better social acceptance of electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure, improving and demonstrating progress in safety, comfort, ease of use, less impact on the urban landscape and a better resilience to vandalism, users as well as users feeling of freedom (one of the main reasons that consumers purchase those vehicles).  

Barcelona was the world capital of the electric vehicle the last November 2013, receiving the first international symposium and exhibition of Electric Vehicles EVS27 (www.evs27.org). After this successful edition of technology and innovation many new and successful projects were present.

UNPLUGGED aims to investigate how the use of inductive charging of Electric Vehicles (EV) in urban environments improves the convenience and sustainability of car-based mobility.

“Apart from taking into account the environmental care and leveraging technology”, according to Stefano Persi (ENIDE), “we must think about the needs and benefits for the user of EV, using an user-centric approach”

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Stefano Persi (ENIDE)

UNPLUGGED aims to investigate how the use of inductive charging of Electric Vehicles (EV) in urban environments improves the convenience and sustainability of car-based mobility.

“Apart from taking into account the environmental care and leveraging technology”, according to Stefano Persi (ENIDE), “we must think about the needs and benefits for the user of EV, using an user-centric approach”

So, during the event, the UNPLUGGED team informed to the audience that this research works on smart inductive charging, which facilitates the integration of EV in the urban road system. In this project were presented three different wireless charging scenarios:

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Axel Barkow (FKA)

  • Stationary charging, meaning that the vehicle is not moving for a medium/long period of time (>5 minutes), as for example, a parking at home, the office or supermarket
  • Static en-route charging, when the vehicle is not moving for a short amount of time (<5 minutes), as in the case of bus stops, taxi stand, delivery truck, etc.
  • Dynamic en-route charging, when the vehicle is moving: Highway, strategically chosen roads, etc.

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Inductive charging station design

The UNPLUGGED coordinator,  Axel Barkow (FKA), mentioned “interoperability” as a fundamental concept for the project, especially in aspects such as position, communication and power transfer; for UNPLUGGED is important to work optimally in each vehicle in these different environments.

By ENDESA, Lourdes Garcia exposed the current plans for the deployment of inductive charging infrastructure in commercial conditions.

Then, Roy Johansson from Volvo Group showed how the dynamic en-route charging will boost the adoption of EV especially for commercial purposes by breaking many of the current barriers, as price of components, range and charging time.

Following, Gianni Campatelli from University of Florence completed the UNPLUGGED vision by presenting a roadmap for the deployment of wireless charging for EV in cities, based on the three previous scenarios as consecutive stages, showing the global benefits of each of them.

As a conclusion of the event, an open discussion was held about the challenges of the implementation of such wireless charging technologies, with many questions among the audience and the UNPLUGGED team.