Ford is currently exploring the possibility of securing a patent for an innovative approach to enhance the effectiveness of wireless EV charging.
While wireless charging systems already exist, predominantly in the aftermarket sector, Ford has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that outlines potential enhancements. The patent application, published on June 1, reveals Ford’s proposed improvements and was initially filed on November 30, 2021.
In the patent application, Ford highlights that the majority of existing wireless EV charging systems rely on electromagnetic fields to transfer energy from a power source to a vehicle’s receiver, eliminating the need for a physical connection. However, these systems can experience interruptions in energy transfer when objects, especially those made of metal, are in close proximity to the charging hardware.
The patent application proposes a solution that involves the utilization of cameras to detect objects that could potentially disrupt the charging process. In such a scenario, the driver would be alerted through flashing lights or auditory signals. Ford suggests that this solution could involve the integration of cameras, lights, and speakers within the vehicle, which would be interconnected with the charging system, as outlined in the patent application.
According to the application, implementing a warning system of this nature could potentially minimize or eliminate unintentional activation of a reduced power mode or shutdown of the charging system when objects obstruct the energy transfer between the wireless charger and receiver. However, it is worth noting that this may not be the primary obstacle impeding the widespread adoption of wireless charging technology.
Enhancing convenience by eliminating bulky cables, wireless charging has gained traction in the market. WiTricity, a prominent aftermarket wireless charging company, claims that its technology can rival the efficiency and power output of conventional AC plug-in charging systems. However, the primary barrier to widespread adoption remains the cost, an aspect not addressed in Ford’s patent application.