Despite rising sales figures, the mass acceptance of electric mobility still suffers from a patchy charging infrastructure. This is where the eCharge project comes in: Inductive energy transfer while driving could both reduce battery costs and improve the charging infrastructure. The goal is therefore to develop a system for inductive charging based on infrastructure-integrated induction modules in asphalt roads.
“When a road is newly built or renewed, the coils are installed at a depth of about ten centimetres and covered with an asphalt surface layer so that they are not visible from the outside,” explains Professor Michael Wistuba from the Institute of Road Engineering at TU Braunschweig. “Only at the roadside, cables are led out of the road at a distance of 1.65 metres, bundled and led into a management unit at intervals of about 90 metres. These communicate with the vehicles via the coils and switch sections of the road on or off as required.”
If the system is successful, it is planned to build so-called e-corridors of 25 kilometres in length at regular intervals on motorways, for example. According to Wistuba, they could achieve a range extension of up to 20% per corridor.
In addition to road construction solutions for new and existing roads, the project team also intends to develop options for reliable billing procedures and an economical operation of the system.
The Institute for Road Engineering at the Technical University of Braunschweig is providing scientific support for the project and will investigate suitable installation methods for integrating inductive charging technology into the road structure. In addition, the Braunschweig scientists are researching the development of suitable road construction materials for damage-free integration and operation of the charging technology built into the road. Another important sub-project is the prognosis calculation of the service life of road surfaces with this new technology and the possibilities for road maintenance.
TU Braunschweig has already gained experience with inductive charging infrastructure with the Emil wireless electric bus, which is in regular service in Braunschweig since 2014.
The eCharge project is funded with €1.9 million by the German Federal Government. In addition to TU Braunschweig, the companies Eurovia Teerbau GmbH, Volkswagen AG and Omexom GA Süd GmbH are involved in the project consortium.
More information: https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/en/isbs