Cars

Matrix charging: conductive charging of e-cars using a pantograph

Knowing how to charge by cable every e-car owner, but it involves digging a kilometer-long cable out of the car and the rather cumbersome connection to a charging station or wallbox. That costs time and is work.
End the tangled cables or at least reduce them significantly conductive charging of e-cars via pantograph. The “eTaxi Austria” project in Austria is testing exactly this with the Charging technology Matrix charging of the Graz company Easelink. It consists of one Charging connector on the underbody of the vehicle and one Charging pad at the parking lot. The principle was demonstrated in early September 2021 at the IAA Mobility in Munich in a new e-platform from the supplier Schaeffler.

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Transfer efficiency of almost 100 percent

The special thing about it is that the Matrix Charging Connector is activated as soon as the e-car is parked automatically lowered and the vehicle is charged via the physical connection. The developers promise one Transmission efficiency from more than 99 percent. the Charging power is normally 11 kilowatts (kW), with 400 volts it can be increased to 22 kW for alternating current (AC) and 50 kW for direct current (DC). With the not yet too widespread 800-volt technology (e.g. in the Porsche Taycan or the Hyundai Ioniq 5), even 100 kilowatt hours of power to be possible.
eTaxi 2.0 project

After parking, the charging connector on the underbody of the e-car is lowered to the charging pad.

Integration in production cars is also planned

Since the pad embedded in the floor is threatened with contamination in the open air, the matrix charging system has one integrated cleaning system. It will automatically blow air out of the underside of the connector until the connection between it and the pad is made. Foreign bodies are also loosened with integrated cleaning lamellas. According to Easelink, the charging pad also holds one Wheel load of up to 2.5 tons Weight stood. The connector weighs only 4 kilos, so it hardly increases the weight of the car. Thanks to its compact design, the Matrix Charging System can already be used in more than 90 percent of all electric vehicles on the market retrofitted according to the developers (for the e-car buying guide).

Conversion of 66 ID.4 and Ioniq 5

In the eTaxi Austria project, a consortium of eleven companies initially wants to test and promote the decarbonisation of taxi fleets in Vienna and Graz by May 2024. To be retrofitted ten taxi ranks and 66 VW ID.4 (Photo above) and Hyundai Ioniq 5. In addition to the production of retrofit kits for taxi or car sharing fleets, the Integration of Matrix Charging in new cars planned. Several sources say that they are working “with leading automobile manufacturers and suppliers on a series application.”

Convenient charging, but at a loss: inductive charging

Another convenient form of charging could be inductive charging, a charging technology that is used in electric toothbrushes or Smartphones has been in use for a long time. In this case, electricity flows over without a physical connection Wash and a Magnetic field into the device’s battery, which must, however, be placed exactly above the power source. But there is a problem here: the Loss of charge in the form of Waste heat. By no means all of the transmitted energy reaches the battery. With “eCharge” from BMW for the plug-in hybrid 530e, there is talk of a charge loss of around 15 to 20 percent.

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