HELLA is working with Paul Vahle GmbH to develop wirelesscharging systems that could spark renewed consumer interest in electric andhybrid-electric vehicles.
Commonly used to recharge small consumer products such assmartphones and electric toothbrushes, inductive or wireless charging for carswill make it easier for drivers to charge car batteries and extend a vehicle’sdriving range.
Rather than using plug-in charging stations, car ownersin the future will simply need to park over an inductive charging unit totrigger the process, according to Dr. Marc Rosenmayr, CEO for HELLA Electronicsin North and South America.
He adds that if inductive charging coils were embedded instreets, electric vehicles also could be recharged when stopped at trafficlights or even while being driven.
For electric car buyers, a contact-free method oftransferring energy to the vehicle certainly will be more convenient and lesstime consuming. Cables no longer will be necessary. Inclement weather and therisk of vandalism also can be avoided if outside charging stations areinvolved.
“Wireless, inductive charging is a far moreconvenient way to recharge a vehicle’s battery system,” Rosenmayr pointsout. “The driver only needs to stop or drive over a charging unit ornetwork to activate the process. As wireless charging has become more availableand easy to use, it also might allow automakers to reduce battery size andweight on electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
Rosenmayr notes that a number of technological andinfrastructure challenges still must be overcome before wireless charging forcars and light trucks can be successfully introduced. Energy transfer overhigh-frequency fields that are at the heart of inductive systems, for example,cause heat to build up in metal objects which could lead to safety issues. Theimpact that wireless charging might have on other vehicle electronic systemssuch as navigation, infotainment, driver-assistance and keyless entry systemsalso will need to be studied.
The cooperation between Vahle and HELLA combines theexpertise and experience of both companies in the field inductive charging.Based in Kamen, Germany, Vahle has 15 years of experience in contact-freeenergy transfer in industrial environments, while HELLA is a recognized leaderin the development of electronics, software, processes and production in theauto industry.
HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co.,Lippstadt: HELLA is a global, independent, family-ownedcompany with more than 30,000 employees at 100 locations in more than 35countries. The HELLA Group develops and manufactures lighting and electroniccomponents and systems for the automotive industry. In the aftermarket segment,HELLA also has one of the largest trade organizations for automotive parts,accessories, diagnostics and services within Europe. HELLA’s SpecialApplications business unit develops products for specialist vehicles andentirely independent applications such as street lighting or industriallighting systems. Complete vehicle modules, air-conditioning systems andvehicle electrical systems are produced in joint venture companies. With morethan 5,600 people working in research and development, HELLA is one of themarket’s most important innovation drivers. With sales of 5.0 billion euros infiscal year 2012/2013, the HELLA Group also is one of the top 50 automotiveparts suppliers in the world and one of the 100 largest German industrialcompanies.