Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated their wireless charging technology on an autonomous electric vehicle for the first time in a project with Local Motors.
The charging system developed at ORNL was installed on Local Motors’ autonomous shuttle, the Olli. The architecture includes both wireless and wired charging, so the bus can connect to either DC or AC power, respectively. The team demonstrated power transferring from a grid interface to the vehicle’s battery across a 6-inch air gap at approximately 91% efficiency.
“Our wireless charging technology has matured enough that we can design and install equipment for a custom environment such as on the Olli, to give vehicle manufacturers the flexibility they need to accelerate toward a decarbonized, electrified transportation future,” ORNL’s Madhu Chinthavali said.