Earlier this month, a Spanish collaboration involving the country's largest utility company tested what it says is the first wireless fast-charging system for electric vehicles of its kind.

Utility giant Endesa is working with Fundacion Circe, which is based in Zaragoza (about 200 miles northeast of Madrid) to develop the fast-charging system, which Endesa says can recharge an EV to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes. The system uses the inductive charging method, in which energy is transferred between a charging plate on the ground and an on-board receiver via electromagnetic waves.

And for those squeamish about the electromagnetic waves, Endesa says they generate "emissions kept below the permitted limits" (whatever that means), and that there is somewhat of a margin for error as far as not exactly aligning the vehicle over the charging plate. Every wireless charging engineer or company representative we've ever talked to has also said that wireless charging is safe, for what it's worth. If you want to know more, you can check out a two-minute video (in Spanish) and read Endesa's press release below.



Show full PR text
Endesa presents wireless charging for electric vehicles for the first time in Spain
12/3/2012 Madrid
  • Fast inductive charging is now possible thanks to the project developed jointly with Fundación CIRCE, which allows electric car batteries to be 80%-charged in 15 minutes.
  • This new system enables drivers to charge their batteries in comfort, without having to leave their vehicles, and has the advantage that the vehicle does not have to be positioned exactly on the transmitter coil.
  • The new project developed with Fundación CIRCE has achieved a totally safe high-power charging system.
Endesa and Fundación CIRCE have presented for the first time in Spain a wireless charging system for electric vehicles, which allows electric batteries to be 80%-charged in 15 minutes.

Using inductive technology, customers only have to position their electric vehicle (with a receiver beneath the car) on a ground-level charging platform. When the system detects the presence of a car, it connects wirelessly and starts to transfer the energy charge. The process stops automatically when the service conditions have been met, it is interrupted manually or if the car is moved away from the charging point. This new system has been developed to transfer 30 Kw of power and includes significant advantages:

1. Screening: Charges made at these high power levels are totally safe, with emissions kept below the permitted limits.

2. Alignment: There is a margin of approximately 30% for the transmitter to detect the vehicle on top of it, connect and start transmitting power, i.e. the vehicle does not have to be in an exact position.

3. Comfort: No cable is required to start the charging process (in the case of fast charging the cable is also large and heavy) and drivers can charge their batteries without having to leave their vehicles.

4. Safety: The charging device can be easily installed in almost any location, making it barely visible and offering effective protection against vandalism and adverse weather conditions.

Once the base technology presented today has been developed, it may be included and adapted for different motionless charging requirements such as for bus stops or terminals, trucks or service vehicles at specified areas or fast charging for private cars at service stations, allowing autonomy to be increased without the driver having to leave the vehicle. Furthermore, in the future it will be easier to increase power to adapt to different charging needs.

Unplugged Project

Enel and Endesa are taking part in various work groups under the Unplugged project, a European initiative to develop wireless charging. As part of this project, Endesa and the Fundación Circe of Zaragoza are heading the work group to build an inductive fast charge point and the inclusion of the required device on the vehicle. Enel is also taking part in the development and installation of a management and control system for the charging point.

Unplugged is a European initiative backed by the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (7PM) in which there are 17 partners, including private firms (e.g. Enel and Endesa), European research centres and universities, along with contributions from cities such as Barcelona and Florence also contribute to the programme. The project has a budget of Euros 2.3 million and is scheduled to run for two-and-a-half years.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      Danny: I am not sure if you are actually allergic to finding out the basics of the technologies you write about, but: 'Endesa says they generate "emissions kept below the permitted limits" (whatever that means)' means simply that there are regulations for emissions for all electro-magnetic sources, for instance power lines and inductive or magnetic chargers, and the devices we are talking about here are fully compliant with those regulations. IOW, the level of emissions which these leak is within the levels deemed to have either no proven harm or to be an acceptable risk.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      With repeated statements like, "80%-charged in 15 minutes"... but never mentioning the full charge capacity of the EV.... makes me think they are just doing a publicity stunt. No mention of the rated Wattage.... nothing. Technically, they could be misleading people by charging a 5 kwh pack to 80% in 15 minutes. 16 KW could do it. Higher than many wireless chargers... but hardly a "fast-charger". Someone looks to be trying to capitalize on the phrase "80%-charged in 15 minutes"... becoming somewhat of a household phrase. http://fcirce.es/web/data/new.aspx?source=comActual&id=1978 this is the original article... from 10 months ago. Way to go ABG for regurgitating an article from almost a year ago.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        @ Joeviocoe Joe, Dave's right, Wireless charging is not a 'publicity stunt'. Wireless fast charging will become as important technology to EV's as the self-starter was to ICE vehicles when introduced in the 1913 Cadillac.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Thanks Dave... a quick google search IS IN FACT what I did... and found the original claim by the original company, CIRCE. I don't know how "roadtraffic-technology.com" was able to find out that the charger is a 50KW charger. Especially since this foundation doesn't seem to mention it on their website at all. But it is in spanish, so google had to translate it for me. So I could be wrong. " 2.3 million Euros is going to be dished out to them to charge a hopelessly inadequate battery." Yes... in the U.S., we spend millions on Pork too. The E.U. is not so immune. "One would almost think that you are simply mud slinging against a technology you don't much fancy." HAHA.... pot calling the kettle. Anyway, it is NOT that I don't like wireless charging tech... I actually do. A lot. I do mud sling whenever a press release is presented with a painful LACK of pertinent information. ABG did NOT mention the actual power levels. They did not even link it. I did a quick search and found the source foundation page... still, no new information. You found more info, but it is NOT from the source. No direct quotes regarding the actual power level (just the same marketing of "80% charged in around 15 minutes". Which still concerns me. Sorry, but although I appreciate some new information... roadtraffic-technology.com seems like another blog like ABG, just in the UK. While the foundation making the claim... is a Spanish foundation, CIRCE. So please don't act like you've found gold right under my nose. This claim is still lacking real data. -------------------- Marco, I agree. Wireless charging itself is NOT a publicity stunt. And fast charging can indeed become important... I hope so. My only beef is unsubstantiated claims. CIRCE needs to be clearer about what their technology does... and not just say, "80% charged in around 15 minutes."... as if that really means anything without a standard battery capacity. And ABG needs to dig deeper too... maybe make a phone call or send an email for once... and not leave it up to the readers to get a simple piece of information like power.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        I'm not sure why you choose to make injurious assumptions rather than simply doing a google to find out some more technical details, or assume that 2.3 million Euros is going to be dished out to them to charge a hopelessly inadequate battery. One would almost think that you are simply mud slinging against a technology you don't much fancy. If fact of course they are talking about a 50kw rate of charging, which would to precisely what they have said: http://www.roadtraffic-technology.com/news/newsendesa-unveils-new-wireless-ev-charging-system-spain
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Oops... thanks Jake. I swear that press release was not there when I originally commented. I searched for info on the power levels. So, 30 KW.. not 50 KW ??? Endesa: "This new system has been developed to transfer 30 Kw of power..." roadtraffic-technology.com: "The new charging service has been developed to transfer 50Kw of power." Okay... now it's clear. So Endesa, which is part of the collaboration says 30 KW That is enough to charge what to 80% in 15 minutes?? A 9 KWH pack.... yes, that is not exactly an EV. Maybe a PHEV (which won't need fast charging really) Dave, how did you put it? "a hopelessly inadequate battery"
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        THIS is why I feel claims like these are more of a publicity stunt, and do not help the public's confidence in the long term as 99% of the claims turn out to be misleading. 30 KW is great for a wireless charger... but they weren't being upfront about this... they decided to try and market it as a "80%-charged in 15 minutes" Fast-Charger.... which is fairly misleading.
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Press release says 30kW (about half of CHAdeMO, 50% more than the max level-2 J1772).
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I suppose it's understandable that every new technology has it's detractors with ill-conceived fears of health risks. As Dave Mart points odd to find a journalist specialising in new technology, lacking sufficient interest in the subject of his article to bother researching any relevant information. Just posting someone else's press release with a few inane comments adding on, is just lazy.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Marketing this as a "Fast-Charger" and "can recharge an EV to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes" is misleading and disingenuous. This would be a great wireless charger just on its own merits, without resorting to buzzword marketing tactics. This is a 30 KW charger... this can only charge a 9 Kwh battery pack 'to 80% in 15 min'. No EV will have such a " hopelessly inadequate battery".... not unless it had a range extender gasoline engine as a backup (which would render fast charging a novelty anyway). Good product to develop, bad marketing strategy. Very bad ABG for cut and paste journalism.
      GasMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      To move that kind of power, there must be a really strong magnetic field, maybe on the same order as an MRI machine. I wouldn't go anywhere near it.