Wireless inductive charging could sell more EVs, concludes study for tech leader

Wireless charging firm WiTricity is making the case that its tech will help sell more electric cars. The company on Wednesday released results of a study it commissioned showing that availability of wireless charging could nudge consumers into taking the plunge.

“EV considerers” who haven’t committed to purchasing an EV indicated that their intent to purchase increased from 35% to 59% with the availability of wireless charging, according to the study.

Those who have already been sold on EVs also seemed to view wireless charging as an added benefit. Among those already planning to purchase EV, the likeliness to do so within the next 18 months increased from 60% to 84% with the option of wireless charging, the study said.

2018 BMW 530e iPerformance wireless charging

2018 BMW 530e iPerformance wireless charging

Current EV owners are already very likely to purchase another EV, according to the study. But adding wireless charging increased that likelihood from 91% to 96%, the study found.

Overall interest in wireless charging was quite high, the study found. Of those surveyed, 81% said they were “extremely interested” in the technology, while 63% said they’d like to see wireless charging at public charging stations.

It bears repeating that the study was commissioned by WiTricity, which has a lot to gain from widespread adoption of EV wireless charging. WiTricity became the leader for the consumer side of wireless tech with the acquisition of Qualcomm Halo tech in 2019.

Volkswagen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and UT Knoxville test wireless charging

Volkswagen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and UT Knoxville test wireless charging

Automaker availability of wireless charging has been long-anticipated but slow to roll out. Globally, the Genesis GV60 might be the first, or one of the first to come with the tech from the factory for at least some markets. BMW has also been conducting a test of 5-Series plug-in hybrids equipped for wireless charging.

The establishment of a single standard for Level 2–power wireless charging also set some pieces for more widespread adoption in place last year. Other projects are working on wireless charging at the rate of DC fast-charging, but haven’t moved beyond the laboratory phase yet.

In the meantime, the cost of installing wireless charging hardware remains a major hurdle for commercialization, along with getting the tech into enough cars to justify the cost of those installations.

Is this among the sorts of tech the federal government should be subsidizing? Let us know what you think in comments below.

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