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Widespread wireless electric vehicle charging not far off, says Navigant


February 28, 2014
By Anthony Capkun


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February 27, 2014 – Wireless charging systems for electric vehicles (EVs) offer several advantages over conventional plug-in technology, foremost among them unparalleled convenience for EV owners, explains Navigant Research, adding that worldwide sales of wireless EV charging systems will grow from a few hundred in 2014 to nearly 302,000 by 2022.

Until recently, these systems were in the R&D and pilot stages only, but now products have begun to reach the market, and several major EV manufacturers have plans to offer models with wireless charging capability in the 2015-2016 timeframe.

“Although some in the industry remain unconvinced that wireless charging will ever be more than a small niche market, it’s clear that major automakers have concluded that this technology could be a differentiator in a crowded EV market,” said Richard Martin, editorial director with Navigant Research. “Features once considered luxury items, such as power windows and automatic garage door openers, tend to spread, over time, across all vehicle segments—and that is likely to apply to wireless charging, as well.”

Several developments in 2013 signalled the beginning of a new phase in this emerging market, according to the new Navigant report “Wireless Charging Systems for Electric Vehicles”: Bosch announced a sales and distribution agreement with Evatran, maker of the Plugless Power system, with products scheduled to reach the market in the first quarter of 2014; also, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) said that its Wireless Power Transfer Task Force for vehicles has agreed on a standard frequency for wireless EV charging, reducing the possibility of a standards battle among competing vendors.