You might be able to charge your next EV while on the road

Dynamic Inductive Charging could be the solution to an EV's range anxiety

Brian Cooley Editor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and The PHM HealthFront™. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
Expertise Automotive technology, smart home, digital health. Credentials
  • 5G Technician, ETA International
Brian Cooley
2 min read

Electric cars create range anxiety compared to gas engined cars, regardless of what Tesla says. So far there have been three main ways to tackle that: 

  • Make batteries much bigger, which makes them more expensive, heavy and hard to package.
  • Make charging must faster, which runs smack into all kinds of limits of physics and current chemistry.
  • Make charge locations much more numerous, but that requires your car be stopped for some time.

But a new idea is starting to take hold: Dynamic Inductive Charging. It puts charging pads in the road that couple to coils in the belly of the car that grab gulps of recharge as you drive. 

After some testing in Europe with Qualcomm technology, a major U.S. pilot is planned in Colorado where the state will embed a section of public roadway with this invisible charging tech.

There are plenty of thorny issues to sort out:

  • Energy transfer. How many cars per linear mile of road can charge at once and at what level of charge and what speed of traffic?
  • Billing. How do you recognize each car that is charging for billing purposes. If EV's are going to make it, they won't be free.
  • Weather. How does the technology fare when covered in snow?
  • Compatibility? What would carmakers need to do to be compatible and how much would it add to the engineering of a car?

Check out the video to get a visualization of how it all works.

Dynamic Inductive Charging could not only solve a lot of the friction that consumers perceive in owning an electric car, but might even allow EVs to leapfrog the convenience of a gas engined car.