A city near Tokyo is the first in Japan to test wireless charging for EVs – and the chargers are in front of traffic lights.
Wireless charging for EVs at traffic lights
The pilot is being run in Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City by the Universities of Tokyo and Chiba, along with nine companies, including tire maker Bridgestone and auto parts makers NSK and Denso. (Kashiwa Smart City is named that because it’s a model city for intelligent transport system experiments.)
The University of Tokyo created the in-motion power supply system, and now the researchers want to test its durability and ability to consistently charge for EVs and plug-in hybrids driving over it.
Precast charging coils are embedded into the road’s surface in front of traffic lights. A current only passes through the wireless chargers when a vehicle is detected. EVs and PHEVs that have special devices installed near the tires to receive the electricity get a charge when they slow down – 10 seconds of rolling over the coils provides about 1 km (0.6 miles) of range.
The University of Tokyo says the demonstration experiment will be conducted from October to March 10 under the direction of the Ministry of Transport.
Will this pilot turn slow traffic and stopping at a red light into something EV drivers are happy about?
A minute = 6 km of range. Now, that’s not exactly going to do much for someone on a road trip, but if wireless chargers were installed at every traffic light, this could be beneficial for EV drivers who drive locally a lot.
While home EV chargers are, IMHO, the best way to charge up, not everyone has that option, and apartment dwelling is the norm in the Tokyo metropolitan area. So if someone who lived in Kashiwa regularly zipped around the city in a small, light EV, then I could see how being wirelessly charged at stoplights could be beneficial. At any rate, isn’t the point of pilots to see whether an idea will work IRL? I’m intrigued to see their findings.
What do you think about the Kashiwa wireless charging experiment? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: くろふね, CC BY 3.0
To limit power outages and make your home more resilient, consider going solar with a battery storage system. In order to find a trusted, reliable solar installer near you that offers competitive pricing, check out EnergySage, a free service that makes it easy for you to go solar. They have hundreds of pre-vetted solar installers competing for your business, ensuring you get high quality solutions and save 20-30% compared to going it alone. Plus, it’s free to use and you won’t get sales calls until you select an installer and you share your phone number with them.
Your personalized solar quotes are easy to compare online and you’ll get access to unbiased Energy Advisers to help you every step of the way. Get started here. – ad*
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.