27Sep, 23 September 27, 2023
  • By evcharger

Electric vehicles (EVs) are dominating the automotive circle as a more sustainable transportation option over gas-powered cars. However, one major barrier to widespread EV adoption is range anxiety – the fear that an EV’s battery will run out before reaching a destination or finding a charging station. While most EVs today use plug-in cables for charging, wireless (or inductive) charging offers a convenient cable-free option that can help alleviate range anxiety.

Several major automakers and tech companies are developing and rolling out wireless charging systems for EVs, but the technology is still in its early stages. This blog post will examine the current status of wireless EV charging technology, shedding light on types of wireless charging and equipping you with the knowledge of current updates and the obstacles standing in the way. 

How Wireless EV Charging Works

Wireless EV charging uses electromagnetic induction between two coils – a charging pad on the ground and a receiving coil on the vehicle. This setup transfers electricity to the EV’s battery without the need for wires or cables. The technology works similarly to wireless smartphone charging pads.

You can charge your EV simply by parking over the charging pad, providing easy automated charging. The EV will gain range even if you stop for a mere 2 minutes over a charger, and the cherry on top is that you don’t even need to get out of the car and deal with cables. 

Some people think that wireless charging isn’t as efficient as its plug-in counterpart. This isn’t true. Wireless charging can clock up to 90% efficiency due to the close proximation of both coils, which does not let electromagnetic waves radiate out into the nearby space, thus conserving energy.

Wireless EV Charging

Types of Wireless EV Charging Currently

The two primary categories of wireless EV charging are static and dynamic. Static wireless charging involves charging an electric vehicle parked over a ground pad. This is the most common type deployed today. Static wireless charging pads are found at public parking locations and home garages as a convenient cable-free alternative.

Dynamic wireless charging refers to charging an EV while driving by transferring power from pads built into roads or special charging lanes. This suits vehicles that run along fixed routes, such as buses, taxis and trucks. But as of now, dynamic wireless charging is still in the early pilot testing phases and is not yet commercially available to the public. 

Current Events in the World of Wireless EV Charging

Though still in early adoption, some automakers have started rolling out wireless charging as experimental projects, giving us a glimpse of how cable-free charging can work. Here are some of the current real-world applications and deployments of the technology:

  • BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes S-Class, and the Audi e-Tron GT are some examples that are compatible with wireless charging. However, these usually charge at a lower 3.3-11 kW power level.
  • Genesis, a Korean automaker, is testing wireless charging on its EV models in South Korea. The trial involves 23 charging pads installed nationwide, including at Genesis sales studios. However, Genesis believes the 11kW power level currently offered is too slow for widespread public adoption.
  • Wireless dynamic charging is being tested in South Korea and Italy on buses and taxis driving along fixed routes. This allows vehicles to charge on the go.
  • Meanwhile, Volvo launched a wireless charging pilot in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2022. The automaker provided electrified XC40 SUVs to the cab company Cabonline to use as taxis. Volvo’s wireless system can charge at 40kW, nearly four times faster than typical 11kW wired Level 2 EV chargers. This allows the taxis to charge quickly between fares simply by parking over a pad.
  • WiTricity is providing its wireless charging technology for autonomous electric buses operated by Chinese company Yu Tong Bus, marking the first use of wireless charging in commercial autonomous vehicles.
Volvo EV Wireless Charging

While wireless EV charging is not yet mainstream, we are starting to see it deployed in targeted applications where automated charging offers the most benefits. But there are still challenges to overcome before the technology can reach mass market adoption.

Key Challenges for Mainstream Adoption

For wireless EV charging to become as convenient and ubiquitous as gas stations, experts point to three main technical and infrastructure challenges that still need to be addressed:

  1. Limited range – Wireless charging currently only works over short distances between the charging pad and vehicle receiver, requiring precise alignment. This offers little flexibility compared to plug-in charging stations.
  1. Lack of high-powered standards – Existing wireless charging standards like SAE J2954 are lower power, around 11kW. New higher power standards like the J2954/2 for 500kW charging for heavy-duty vehicles are still in development.
  1. Costs – Adding wireless charging hardware to vehicles at the factory currently costs $750-$1000, though costs are expected to decrease as the technology becomes popular.
  1. Public infrastructure – Seamless public wireless charging networks require major infrastructure investment and standardization to deploy charging pads in busy parking spots, roads, etc.
  1. Consumer awareness – Public knowledge and trust in wireless EV charging is still low. Consumers need education on the benefits.

Overall, while the technology shows promise for more automated charging, wireless EV charging still faces hurdles related to technical maturation, infrastructure, costs, and consumer adoption before it is ready for truly mainstream widespread use.

The Future Promises of Wireless Charging

Once the hurdles of wireless charging are addressed, experts predict the technology can make EV charging extremely convenient, automated, and ubiquitous. Here are some of the future possibilities:

  • Fully automated charging requiring no driver action whatsoever when parked over a wireless pad, removing a major consumer friction point.
  • Wireless charging infrastructure widely built into roads, parking spaces, and other public locations, so finding a charging spot becomes hassle-free. 
  • Dynamic wireless charging on highways via charging lanes or strips that continuously charge vehicles while driving. This can potentially reduce EV battery sizes and costs.
  • Wireless charging robotics able to automatically find and charge vehicles in a parking lot or garage, reducing the need for drivers to park over pads precisely.
  • Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration that enables EVs with wireless charging to dynamically charge and discharge energy back to the electric grid as needed, acting as mobile storage batteries to better balance grid demand.
  • Wireless charging networks with convenient billing and payments integrated via smartphones rather than needing credit cards or membership accounts at each charger.
  • Large-scale wireless charging for commercial trucking fleets, like at port staging areas. This can enable the electrification of energy-intensive vehicles.
  • The global wireless EV charging market will be worth $825 million by 2027.

While some of these applications are still years away, wireless charging has the potential to truly transform how EVs integrate and interact with the wider transportation and electrical infrastructure around them. The cable-free convenience promised by this technology could be key to accelerating mainstream EV adoption.

Future of Wireless EV charging in the US:

Contribution from WiTricity:

Wireless charging technology developer WiTricity has made positive progress in the last few months. In 2022, Siemens, a German tech giant, invested $25 million to support WiTricity’s ongoing research and development initiatives.

WiTricity has also been developing licensing agreements for its wireless charging intellectual property and technology. Reports indicate that major automaker General Motors is among the companies expressing interest in WiTricity’s wireless charging capabilities.

Furthermore, WiTricity has conducted consumer surveys that reveal strong demand for wireless charging features among current and prospective EV owners in the United States. A poll of 1,000 U.S. drivers found that 81% are very to extremely interested in EVs equipped with wireless charging.

This high level of consumer interest, coupled with WiTricity’s licensing progress and strategic investments, points to positive momentum for wireless EV charging technology overall. As more automakers integrate the capability and charging infrastructure expands, WiTricity and other innovators in the space are poised to enable easier and more automated charging experiences. This will help speed up the EV-olution.

1-mile road in Michigan:

In September 2022, the state of Michigan partnered with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and wireless charging company Electreon. The goal was to lead by example and develop the first public roadway with integrated wireless EV charging capability in the United States.

The project aims at incorporating a wireless charging system into a 1-mile stretch of road in Detroit, Michigan. Electric vehicles driving on the electrified road segment can dynamically charge while in motion. That may seem like one small mile for a man, but it sure is one giant leap for mankind.

Developing Wireless Charging Highways in Indiana

The Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University are developing the first wireless charging highway in the world. This quarter-mile test bed on U.S. Highway 231/52 will wirelessly charge heavy trucks driving above electrified roads. Within 4-5 years, the goal is to integrate this into an Indiana interstate. 

Wireless charging aims to revolutionize infrastructure by enabling electric vehicles to charge dynamically while driving. Eliminating plug-in stops would greatly improve the convenience of electrified transportation. This project represents initial steps towards realizing that transformative potential.

Dynamic Wireless EV Charging


Wireless electric vehicle charging is beginning to transition from technical research to real-world implementation, though reaching mainstream adoption remains a marathon rather than a sprint. The elegant technology relies on electromagnetic fields between charging pads and vehicle receivers to deliver power sans cables. This enables an automated, hassle-free charging experience.

But wireless charging’s path to the top will demand ongoing innovation, sizable infrastructure investment, cross-industry collaboration, and standardization efforts first. The technological promise is bright, as early adopters can attest, but there are challenges to surmount before everyone can experience the true potential of wireless EV charging.