Electric vehicles are slowly catching up with the masses, but there’s still a long way to go before they can replace conventional cars. While EVs offer commuters a green solution to get around, a few kinks have prevented them from being truly viable. For instance, the lack of charging stations means that commuters aren’t able to charge the batteries of their cars during long trips. Since EVs have a limited driving range, this makes them unpopular among majority of the people. Besides, unlike conventional vehicles that can be refueled in a minute, EVs take a couple of hours to charge up. But the United State’s Energy Department is looking to turn things around by announcing that it is seeking the development of wireless chargers that will boost the EV’s popularity.
The department has announced $4 million for the development of the chargers. If successful, then EVs will make a bigger and better impact with the majority and will help pave the way to slowly replace conventional cars. Besides the obvious benefits, wireless chargers will help manufacturers develop smaller battery packs, lighter vehicles with higher efficiency and lower costs.
The department will choose four projects for R&D of wireless chargers. Once developed, it will be tested on a production vehicle and real world operating conditions. It’s hoped that the technology will be successfully applied before 2020.
EVs are currently pretty expensive. Large battery packs compromise interior space, which makes them poor family cars. Short driving ranges owing to lack of charging stations contribute to the various obstacles EVs face in their competition against conventional cars.
For long, researchers have been trying to come up with solutions as fuel sources are going dry and the price of gas continues to rise. But with the US Energy Department’s initiative, it seems very likely that the age of the EV is drawing near.