Calling itself "the future of wireless power", Blue Inductive has made a bold statement. But maybe there's something in it. The German startup, based in Freiburg, has developed a technology that allows electric cars to be charged not just quickly but completely cable-free.
Driverless electric cars and buses are the future, and will radically change the face of personal mobility in coming years. At least that's the view of the founders of Blue Inductive. Using an actual physical cable to charge your e-car will be "completely out of step with the times," says Florian Reiners, one of the four co-founders. "Can you imagine using your smartphone to ask your car to park itself, and then following it into the garage on foot to plug in the charger cable?"
This is where Blue Inductive comes in, offering innovative technology that allows for contactless charging, with a performance that is on par with conventional cabled charging systems too. "We've already managed to develop a wireless rapid charger with an efficiency level of 95 per cent and a charging capacity of 22 kW - we set the benchmark with that about two years ago, " Reiners told RESET. "That's enough to charge a whole range of electric cars in under an hour, with less energy lost than using the corded charging systems that are common today."
This kind of electromagnetic induction system could successfully be built into the current urban infrastructure, without any major changes to city landscapes, while at the same time making the whole system more efficient - charging stations could be done away with, for example, as they currently require regular maintenance. Another advantage of this kind of technology is that energy isn't just transported from the grid to the vehicle, instead it can go in both directions, with the car giving power back to the mains. "That potentially allows us to tap into a huge storage capacity, in the form of a swarm of electric cars, and in that way substantially speed up development of an energy supply entirely based on renewable sources," says Reiners.
The Future Is Wireless for Industry Too
As well as the automotive sector, Blue Inductive see a whole lot of potential for their invention in the field of mobile industry robots, like autonomous manufacturing robots or forklifts. Systems like these are currently powered by battery and of course need regular charging. The Freiburg startup has first field trials planned for the end of next year, and by the end of 2017 Blue Inductive wants to start manufacturing their first product, a rapid charger for mobile robots. "At the end of the day," says Reiners, "driverless cars are nothing more than robots, so in that field too, our technology offers the same advantages."
Electric cars still haven't exactly caught on in a big way anywhere just yet, but Blue Inductive's technology, and other recent initiatives that allow people to charge their cars in their own home, or even combine a charging session with a visit to the neighbours could see that change. There's certainly a huge amount of potential for more sustainable solutions in the transport sector, and Blue Inductive's technology seems like another step (or should that be another wirelessly charged electric car journey?) in the right direction.
Translated from this article by Lydia Skrabania that originally appeared on our German platform.