The next generation of electric cars could be charged wirelessly and even powered up as they drive over electrified roads, claims a company backed by engineering giant Arup.
The company, HaloIPT, is the first in the world to bring to market IPT (Inductive Power Transfer) technology which allows cars fitted with a receiver pad to charge automatically when parked over transmitter pads buried into the ground.
IPT systems can also be configured to power all road-based vehicles from small city cars to heavy-goods vehicles and buses.
The technology was launched overnight in London. The first car to be powered with HaloIPT technology will be on display in London until the end of November.
Dr Anthony Thomson, CEO of HaloIPT says the wireless charging pads are designed to function beneath asphalt, submerged in water or covered in ice and snow.
In the future, the technology will be able to be embedded in roads so cars can be charged on the move. This will solve the range issues electric vehicles have and reduce battery size requirements, says Dr Thompson.
Their pioneering technology uses magnetic fields to transfer power instead of cables or brushes.
The IPT technology was developed by The University of Auckland's Power Electronics Group. The group is led by electrical engineers Professor John Boys and Associate Professor Grant Covic from the Faculty of Engineering at the University.
Dr Boys says it was an exciting development and pleasing to see research originally developed in the basement of the Engineering Faculty at the University of Auckland more than 20 years ago (1989) now making it on to the international stage.