New peer to peer EV charging system means you’ll never run out of juice

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Range anxiety, the worry that your electric vehicle will run out of charge and leave you stranded, is a real thing, this could help solve that.

 

Interested in the Exponential Future? Join our XPotential Community, future proof yourself with courses from our XPotential Academyconnect, watch a keynote, or browse my blog.

As electric vehicles become more popular most buyers still have to confront the issue of range anxiety – the anxiety about their vehicles running out of juice with no charging station in sight. Today, as a consequence a range of companies, from Tesla to Volkswagen, are building more efficient longer lasting batteries, building out national supercharger networks, and even designing autonomous EV charging robots that patrol areas and find your car before plugging themselves in.

 

READ
MIT and DeepMind’s new AI can’t be tricked with weird lighting

 

Over the longer term though we need other solutions and those too are coming, in the form of batteryless EV’s, solar powered EV’s, and EV’s that can be charged from a distance using wireless conductive charging just like you find in some smartphones. While that latter technology still has some way to go before it’s market ready in the meantime researchers are proposing a new “interim” step to charge your EV while it’s in motion.

Imagine a future where your EV was getting low on charge ­on a highway road trip – so you deploy a telescoping charging cable to another EV, just in the same way fighter jets re-fuel in mid flight, and borrow a few kilowatt-hours and then your car pays for that charge automatically using cryptocurrency. An engineering professor at the University of Central Florida believes it’s not far-fetched.

We’ve seen a host of mobile EV charging van concepts. And there are proposed solutions for stationary robots to connect a vehicle to a charger, like what Kuka Robotics demonstrated last year like the one shown below.

 

READ
Room temperature superconductor breakthrough teases new energy revolution

 

The latest idea is to merge the two so EVs on the move can connect with one another and with mobile charging stations.

 

A more traditional example of Robo-Charging. Courtesy: Kuka Robotics

 

A few weeks ago, Swarup Bhunia and his colleagues at UoF’s electrical and computer engineering department posted a paper explaining how it would work. Here’s part of the Abstract:

“We propose Peer-to-Peer Car Charging (P2C2), a highly scalable novel technique for charging EVs on the go with minimal cost overhead. We allow EVs to share charge among each other based on the instructions from a cloud-based control system,” their paper says, “The control system assigns and guides EVs for charge sharing. We also introduce Mobile Charging Stations (MoCS), which are high battery capacity vehicles that are used to replenish the overall charge in the vehicle networks. We have implemented P2C2 and integrated it with the traffic simulator, SUMO. We observe promising results with up to 65% reduction in the number of EV halts with up to 24.4% reduction in required battery capacity without any extra halts.”

 

READ
Elon Musk says advanced AIs will take down the internet

 

In other words, two EVs link up to one another with telescopic charging booms. By creating a network of electric vehicles sharing energy, the researchers believe drivers would have to stop a third as often. Here’s how the connector could work:

“We envision a safe, insulated, and firm telescopic arm carrying the charging cable. After two EVs lock speed and are in range for charge sharing, they will extend their charging arms. The arms heads will contain the charging ports, and they will latch together using either magnetic pads or other means. The arms and the overall charging operation will be coordinated by the respective arm controllers of each EV. This is just one possible realization of the charge transfer mechanism.”

 

An example of how the new system would work

 

That could allow automakers to produce EVs with smaller packs. But it would require a redesign of battery systems, in which there would be a separate battery used for the exchange of energy on the fly.

Professor Bhunia describes the Mobile Charging Stations as “high battery capacity vehicles that are used to replenish the overall charge in the vehicle networks.” The MoCS would augment the capacity of P2P charging when it might be difficult to borrow juice from a fellow EV driver. The paper’s illustration shows that mobile charging stations might utilize drones.

 

READ
World first as scientists link biological and artificial neurons together in a network

 

Of course, there’s the problem of safety making those connections. You would need high levels of connected autonomy like used by jets sharing fuel ­– as well as robotic charging arms like the concept recently unveiled by Volkswagen I mentioned earlier. There would also need to be a central transaction management system, possibly based on Blockchain, for credits by the dollar or kilowatt-hour, but as the EV industry continues to take off solutions like these are going to be vital in helping build consumer confidence and eliminate range anxiety until some of the new solutions I mentioned earlier start being commercialised.

Related Posts

Leave a comment

Get your FREE! XPU Introduction to Exponential Thinking Course now. No registration, no catches, just awesome knowledge.GET FUTURED
+

Explore More!

Explore 1000's of articles about our exponential future, 1000's of pages of insights, 1000's of videos, and dig into 100's of exponential technologies. Subscribe to get your no-nonsense briefing on all the biggest stories in exponential technology and science.

Awesome! You're now subscribed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This