Spanish companies test wireless EV fast-charging system

inductive charging

We’ve long believed that electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrids of the future would be best suited to inductive charging systems. For those who are unaware, inductive charging wirelessly transfers power through electromagnetic waves.

While many current EV and plug-in owners are diligent with their recharging habits, they represent early adopters and enthusiasts. As this technology becomes more widespread a less hands-on solution will be necessary. After all, if you don’t plug in your EV over night, it’s no use to you in the morning. Inductive charging solves this issue by wirelessly engaging the charging process as long as the vehicle is within range of the charger. The only issue with inductive systems has been the slow rate with which they transfer power. That is, until now.

Spanish utility company Endesa has developed in collaboration with Fundacion CIRCE a fast-charging induction system. Now in the testing phase, the ground-based charging plate is capable of wirelessly recharging a vehicle to 80 percent in 15 minutes. This number drops, however, if the vehicle isn’t positioned exactly over the plate. The system allows for a margin of around 30 percent for the transmitter to detect the vehicle above it.

For those concerned with the safety of electromagnetic waves, we remind you to read up on the 2013 Toyota Avalon, which features a wireless cell phone charging pad. If it’s safe enough for your cell phone, we wager it’s safe enough for your car.

For the time being, we suspect new EVs to include a wired charging system until inductive system prices are lowered. EVs are already expensive enough that automakers aren’t keen to add more expensive technology to them, which might scare buyers from the showrooms. Give it five years, however, and that story might change.

[Note: The video below is in Spanish]

Product Review

It looks like a concept, but the Lexus LC500 is very much a real-life stunner

The LC500 sports car combines exotic looks, a raucous V8 engine, sumptuous interior, and responsive steering to make one of the most compelling Lexus-badged models ever and one of the sexiest vehicles on sale.
Apple

Overheating problems may force Apple to extinguish the AirPower charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yer been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Photography

Photo FOMO: Recharge and stash lenses with this smartphone photo bag

Between lenses and extra batteries, smartphone photographers have lots of accessories too -- and could soon have a bag designed specifically for them. The bag isn't the only new accessory with wireless charging announced this week either.
Apple

OPINION: Apple’s new iPhones show off its best tech, and also its greed

We’re just as enamored by the new iPhones as the next person, but with fast charging an extra cost and the removal of the headphone dongle it feels like Apple is gouging us on accessories.
Mobile

Brexit may get messy, but free EU roaming is safe, U.K. government says

The U.K. government and networks have spoken out regarding the continuation of free mobile roaming throughout the EU, even if a no-deal Brexit happens next year, stating charges will not be reintroduced.
Cars

Volkswagen finally squashes the Beetle with 2019 Final Edition

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition marks the end of the line for VW's most iconic nameplate. Volkswagen has no immediate plans to replace the Beetle after production ends next year.
Cars

Volvo wants to build a future in which you can’t wait to commute to work

Volvo's futuristic 360c concept embodies the changes sweeping across the automotive industry. It's electric, fully autonomous, and connected. The firm wants to start a conversation about the role self-driving cars will play in the future.
Cars

Lexus digitizes side-view mirrors with cameras for Japan’s 2019 ES sedan

It seems Lexus is fed up with having to look at a piece of reflective glass and plastic to know what’s in your side rearview. So the company decided to introduce a new way to look behind you in Japan.
Cars

Photos of the BMW Vision iNEXT Concept leak onto the web despite embargo

Earlier this week, Digital Trends was invited to preview BMW’s all-new Vision iNEXT Concept. Although we were all under an embargo, somehow the photos of the concept leaked onto the web before the embargo lifted.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

An elevator in your garage? Boring Company gets OK to test Loop Lift from tunnel

The Hawthorne (California) City Council gave Elon Musk's Boring Company the go-ahead to construct a Loop Lift prototype. The lift will connect the company's existing underground hyperloop to a residential garage.
Cars

Uber has decided to leave its broadly derided current logo ‘behind’

Rideshare giant Uber has a new brand image. The new wordmark logo replaces Uber's previous brand icon, a circular graphic that was derided as an "asshole" symbol that walked away from a clear brand identifier.
Cars

Startup inks ‘world’s largest deal’ for driverless grocery deliveries

An increasing number of companies are testing delivery services using autonomous vehicles. Startup Udelv already has experience of running a trial in San Francisco, with Oklahoma City, Oklahoma set to become its next destination.
Cars

We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.