Granite River Labs, GRL
We’ve all heard about electric vehicles by now, but what about wireless charging for automotives? Valued at US$1.3 billion in 2022, the global automotive wireless charger market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 21.9% and reach a market size of US$9.5 billion by 20321. Supporting this massive growth is the swelling global electric vehicle (EV) market that is breaking records year after year. China2, for example, sold an unprecedented 5.9 million EV fleets at the end of 2022.
The rest of the world is not lagging behind, either. On the contrary, significant process has been made across the board in 2022:
- United States saw 807,180 fully electric vehicles sold, a two-third leap from the previous year3.
- Germany recorded 833,000 EV registrations, forming 31% of all new-car sign ups4.
- EV sales in India escalated by over 2000% from 19,100 in 2020 to 442,901 in 20225.
- South Korea became the 4th largest EV exporter after orders doubled between 2019 and 20226.
- Japan’s domestic EV market is also picking up, tripling to reach 59,0007.
Backing this increase is a supercharged wireless charging market covering everything from smartphones to wearable devices and even laptops, growing at a supercharged CAGR of 30% that will take market valuation to a grand total of US$185.90 billion by 20308. With government regulations such as the UK’s 2030 mandate to ban petrol and diesel car sales supporting the transition to sustainable transportation, momentum for automotive wireless charging can be expected to continue.
How Qi2 will make wireless charging automotives more viable
Announcement of the new Qi2 wireless charging standard by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) in early January 2023 bolstered market confidence by introducing a safer and more sustainable option to the preceding Qi version 1.3.2. The new Qi2 technology is built upon a proprietary series of magnets known as the Magnetic Power Profile (MPP), which creates a magnetic field that powers up copper wire coils within devices when switched on.
Qi2 MPP’s advantage over its predecessor Qi 1.3, which runs on the Extended Power Profile (EPP), is that it bumps up energy transfer efficiency from 50-60% to 85-90%. This development is welcomed by electric vehicle manufacturers and enthusiasts alike, as it will provide automotive drivers with a wider range of charging options, significantly increasing the viability of wireless charging automotives.
Use cases for wireless electric vehicle charging
Up until this point, skepticism surrounding EVs has largely revolved around charging. Specifically, concerns around safety of the charging process, the inconvenience of locating charging ports, and spending significant amounts of time to charge vehicles, especially when compared to how quickly drivers can fuel their tank.
But many of these limitations can be circumvented by replacing bulky charging stations with creatively integrated charging pads, coils, and power control units, which will no doubt become more feasible as the Qi2 wireless charging standard continues to proliferate.
Road infrastructure that enables automotive wireless charging
A 1.6km stretch of road on the Swedish holiday island of Gotland was transformed into a wireless energy charging dock in 2022. How? Automotive manufacturing company Stellantis built 1.5-metre-long copper coils under the asphalt road surface.
Through energy generated from induction between in-road coils and wireless receivers, buses were able to travel at highway speeds without consuming stored energy in their batteries.
Of course, this method is hardly cost effective when applied to long highways. Nevertheless, the pilot project still demonstrates the potential for energy saving along places such as harbors or airports, where vehicles drive on fixed routes for predictable distances.
In-vehicle wireless charging
Electric vehicles can turn into charging stations themselves. Manufacturers are also using Qi wireless charging technology for in-car applications, such as fast charge protocols for smartphones, wearables, and other Qi-enabled devices.
By experimenting with single and multi-coil designs, manufacturers are looking to expand the active area of wireless charging ports to allow flexibility and freedom of positioning. For example, instead of the flat surface charging ports that dominate the market today, specific coil designs can enable reliable wireless charging even through the irregular surfaces of phone car mounts, effectively transforming them into 2-in-1 accessories.
Further the viability of automotive wireless charging
Unlike indoor environments, cars are subjected to greater fluctuations in external conditions, such as temperature and humidity. Because charging speeds are significantly influenced by internal battery temperature, fine-tuning charging rates so that they are optimized even at high temperatures of 37-40°C (98.6-104°F) can help ensure a more consistent user experience.
That’s why wireless charging transmitters have been enhanced with foreign object detection (FOD) support since the days of Qi version 1.3.2. FOD enables charging power to be regulated based on inductive coupling technology, where alternating currents in power transmitter coils (PTx) generate alternating magnetic fields. By mutually coupling this magnetic field to the power receiver coil (PRx), energy can be transformed back into an alternating electrical current that powers the device.
The amount of magnetic current transformed back into electricity is regulated based on Q factor and resonance frequency values detected by the PRx in real-time. This is made possible through adaptive algorithms within the wireless charging controller.
As such, the FOD is able to prevent overheating of heat sensitive metal objects within the vicinity of active transmitters by regulating temperatures as they fluctuate against environmental factors, thereby enabling optimal wireless charging across a wider range of temperatures.
Drive into the automotive wireless charging future with Qi2 testing at GRL
If you’re looking to race ahead of the automotive wireless charging competition, hop on board the GRL train where you’ll gain access to technical experts who will accelerate your testing and compliance procedures through connectivity and charging test solutions.
Please contact a GRL lab near you and leave no stone unturned in releasing your automotive wireless charging solution with the v1.3x EPP (C3-MPP). Located worldwide, our centers are some of the few WPC authorized places where you’ll gain access to the latest Qi2 wireless charging test services.
For full details on how to prepare your device for Qi certification testing at our labs, check out our Knowledge Base or subscribe to our mailing list to receive more updates on the all things wireless charging.
- Fact MR. 2022 - 2023. Global Automotive Wireless Charger Market Outook.
- Naina Bhardwaj. Dec 26, 2022. Electric Vehicle Industry in India: Investment Outlook and Market Profile. India Briefing.
- Mark Kane. Feb 08, 2023. China: Nearly 6 Million Plug-In Cars Were Sold In 2022. Inside Devs.
- Research and Markets. Jan 2022. Wireless Charging Market by Technology and Industry Vertical - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast 2021-2030.
- UKSIF. Mar 09 2023. Can regulation open the floodgates for green finance? Edie.
- Giulia Carbonaro & AP. 24 Jun 2022. Wireless charging for electric cars is already here - but the technology isn’t for everybody yet. Euronews.net.
- David Carnoy. 21 Feb 2023. Best Car Phone Mount for 2023. CNET.
- Wireless Power Consortium. History of the Qi specification.