Solstin says it is developing what it claims could be one of the fastest chargers for electric vehicles (EVs). The concept initially relies on a 200-kilowatt power distribution system and, eventually, solar power. The charger would be aimed at markets such as self-driving cars and light rail, and would combine power storage with wireless 200-kilowatt power distribution.

Solstin’s 200-kilowatt vehicle coil measures 4 x 9 in. Image source: Business WireSolstin’s 200-kilowatt vehicle coil measures 4 x 9 in. Image source: Business WireThe charger would work when self-driving vehicles lock on to a 200-kilowatt, inductive centerline installed in a roadbed. By reducing centerline variance -- thereby reducing the road-coil and the vehicle-coil size -- self-driving EVs would hold the centerline more securely and draw more power. Higher power also allows the intermittent connections between centerline and vehicle to come at greater intervals. Solstin says that with its 200-kilowatt connection, spacing could be one-kilometer apart, possibly simplifying installation and road resurfacing. The vehicle coil made by Solstin measures 4 in by 9 in.

Because the cost of solar-derived power has generally been dropping, Solstin is working toward transferring power from solar sources to EVs. Solstin says it is counting on the emergence of wireless chargers that can draw power while the vehicle is being operated. Wireless power would eliminate the need for the driver to stop and charge the vehicle, and would theoretically give EVs infinite range, according to Solstin.

Solstice is currently developing a working prototype of its 200-kilowatt wireless system. From there it hopes to expand the compatibility of the charging technology from streets to interstate highways.

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