Kiwi drivers ready to adopt wireless EV technology

26th June 2024
Sheryl Miles

New Zealanders are showing optimism towards the potential of dynamic wireless charging for electric vehicles (EVs), despite some concerns.

According to a recent survey by the University of Aukland, 1,150 current and prospective EV drivers revealed that although safety and cost issues are prominent, the overall perception of dynamic wireless charging is favourable. This emerging technology allows EVs to recharge while driving, presenting an innovative alternative to stationary charging stations.

The researchers further delved into the attitudes towards the technology and its potential impact on the future of EV charging.

Technological benefits

Dynamic wireless charging promises to overhaul EV charging by enhancing convenience and efficiency. The key advantage is its ability to charge vehicles in motion, which could significantly reduce the dependency on fixed charging stations. This is particularly beneficial for long-distance travel, minimising the need for frequent stops to recharge, thus making intercity travel more seamless.

According to the study, 93% of respondents expressed optimism about dynamic wireless charging and showed interest in trying it. The primary allure lies in the technology's utility and the ease it brings to the charging process. By potentially complementing existing stationary charging stations, dynamic wireless charging could transform the EV charging landscape.

Limitations and concerns

However, the technology is not without its drawbacks. The practicality of dynamic wireless charging in urban areas remains questionable due to the complexity and cost of infrastructure development. Additionally, there are significant concerns about data privacy, electromagnetic radiation, and the expenses associated with deploying and maintaining such systems.

Primary investigator Dr Ramesh Majhi highlights that while dynamic wireless charging might not be suited for urban transportation demands, it holds substantial promise for intercity travel. By lessening the reliance on plug-in charging stations, it can make long journeys more efficient and reduce detours on highways.

Adoption factors

The study also noted that those who prioritise sustainability are more inclined to support and use dynamic wireless charging. Urban users were found to be more likely to adopt the technology compared to rural users, influenced by social factors such as peer behaviour and choices.

Senior research fellow Dr Selena Sheng emphasised the importance of addressing these concerns for successful integration, stating that policymakers must understand and alleviate the public's apprehensions regarding dynamic wireless charging – effective measures and policies are crucial for its integration into the transportation network.

Future prospects

The move towards EV adoption is driven by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the current charging infrastructure poses a challenge. Dynamic wireless charging lanes could provide a viable solution, enhancing the feasibility of EVs for long-distance travel and contributing to sustainability goals.

While dynamic wireless charging technology holds significant promise for the future of EVs, addressing its limitations and public concerns is essential for its successful adoption.

The insights from this study are invaluable for shaping policies and measures to support the integration of this innovative technology into New Zealand's transportation network.

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