Two global automakers are testing inductive charging setups that charge cars without using wires. This makes it very convenient. The downside is that charging efficiency suffers. A plugless charging setup is being developed by Daimler and Conductix-Wampfler for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell concept. On the other hand, Nissan has shown off a wireless charger that may be used on the Nissan Leaf or a future Infiniti EV.
These use the same technology as those wireless iPhone chargers. The difference is that these are on a larger scale.
Charging is accomplished when the car battery and power supply are both connected to charging coils that complete a circuit when they’re magnetically tuned to each other. It’s very easy to just wait for the batteries to be charged after stopping over a charging pad.
This EV would have to be fitted with the induction charging technology though. Conductix-Wampfler said that plugging in is still more efficient.
Plugless charging is just 90% as effective as a cable-based system. Drivers would also have to be within an inch or so of the optimal parking position. Parking aides may be required for the vehicles to be properly aligned.
The electric drive that powers the A-Class E-CELL from Mercedes-Benz contains a synchronous permanent-field unit that results in a maximum output of 70 kW (95 hp) with peak torque at 290 Nm. Meanwhile continuous power rating is at 50 kW (68 hp). These figures are not surprising as they are generally expected when it comes to an electric drive, which was offered starting from the first generation. As a result, dynamic performance on the road is guaranteed with acceleration from 0 to 60 km/h in merely 5.5 seconds.
Maximum acceleration is made possible due to the kick-down function, mainly based on the current temperature of the battery and the present charge level. In terms of maximum speed, it has been electronically limited at 150 km/h. Its energy storage is composed of a pair of lithium-ion batteries that make use of high-voltage technology.
The reason for utilizing this kind of battery is that when compared to the nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) version, its dimensions are more compact with efficiency even higher. In fact energy density in a lithium-ion battery is 30% more than NiMH with power density going as high as being 50% more. It goes without saying that this kind of battery has a long service life with high charging efficiency.
If the two lithium-ion batteries are fully charged, combined energy capacity is 36 kWh. On a full charge, the batteries allow for a total range of at least 200 km (NEDC). In addition to delivering high suitability level for everyday use plus optimum comfort and excellent safety, it also offers driving pleasure and agility. The last two are important as these are qualities that are not typically observed in many of today’s electric cars.
One feature of the A-Class E-CELL is that it has a low center of gravity since the batteries have been installed beneath its passenger compartment which is the sandwich structure of the floor.
As a result, it has better handling and road-holding qualities. This is what sets it apart from many modern electric cars as the storage batteries are not only bulky and heavy but are placed by its rear seat or the boot. In addition, the location of the installation done on the A-Class E-CELL gives it the best possible protection against structural parts intruding should there be a head-on collision or experience impact on its rear end.
Unlike in other electric vehicles, the batteries inside the A-Class E-CELL have been placed outside of the deformation zones of the car’s body. The sandwich structure of its floor displays high-stability qualities which not only deliver protection for the battery, but in the event of a lateral collision, protects passengers as well. The high-stability characteristics of the sandwich structure of the floor also provide outstanding protection for both battery and passengers in a lateral collision scenario.