Nikola Tesla, a major proponent of alternating currents (as in AC of AC/DC; no not the band), envisioned wireless transmission of electricity more than a century ago. Its time may finally be coming as electric vehicles (EVs) start to proliferate.
The Department of Energy recently announced $4 million for the development of wireless charging for EVs. Funding for this initiative comes from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program. The hope is that wireless charging would negate “range anxiety,” the fear of running out of battery power without being near a charging station.
While a Nikola Tesla-like system may not be feasible for sometime, “this funding will accelerate the development of wireless charging technology to provide hands-free, automated charging of parked vehicles. Static wireless charging – or wireless charging when the vehicle is parked – can ensure easy and efficient vehicle charging.”
Multiple projects could potentially be funded in hopes of developing a wireless charging system. The hope is to build a system that would be deployed within a decade. Selections are expected to be announced later this year. Whether or not this technology takes hold remains to be seen. In the meantime, Tesla’s vision of wireless transmission of electricity stays alive.