Think a modern-day version of slot cars, but at 1:1 scale.
Now French automaker Renault has demonstrated a prototype of just such a system, briefly recharging one of its electric cars at 60 miles per hour.
The French automaker that builds more electric cars than any other European maker partnered with electronics company Qualcomm to develop what it calls a “dynamic wireless electric-vehicle charging” system.
The prototype demonstrated last week allowed charging at up to 20 kilowatts at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph) and higher.
The demonstration cars were a pair of Renault Kangoo ZE electric small delivery vans, shown on a test track in Versailles, near Paris.
Qualcomm and a French firm, Vedecom, installed the charging equipment in the test track.
Renault, meanwhile, modified its electric vans with the system that permitted wireless charging.
The goal of the tests, the companies said, is to assess the “operation and efficiency of energy transfer to the vehicles for a wide range of practical scenarios.”
Among the communications between vehicle and track are those that identify the vehicle and authorize it to begin charging, negotiate over the level of power to be provided, and keep the vehicle aligned on the charging strip at an appropriate speed.
The test is part of a 9-million-euro project known as Fabric, partly funded by the European Union, to evaluate the technology feasibility, business models, and sustainability of wireless on-road charging.
Fabric began in January 2014, and will continue through the end of this year; it’s made up of 25 partners from nine European countries.