About the project
It is now agreed that the world must halve its emission of greenhouse gases by 2050. New Zealand’s per capita emissions are about three times the world average. By reducing our reliance on burning fossil fuels, we can achieve the necessary cuts without impacting primary production. Making the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is an essential part of meeting our international commitments – and its government policy. But even though over 80% of our electricity is generated from renewable sources (hydroelectricity, geothermal, wind, and solar), there are still barriers to be overcome. First of all, electric cars need to be recharged more frequently – their range is much less than for petrol vehicles. More public charging points are needed – but charging takes time. Also, grid operators worry about meeting peak demand when everyone arrives home and plugs their car in.
This research grant is developing technology that could enable EVs to be charged as they are parked or moving along the road. It’s a challenging goal, since it requires us to develop new charging pads that can survive being put into the roadway and create new charging materials made of soft composites. We will need to modify the construction of the roadway itself so the charging system will perform well over years. Our partners from the electricity and transportation industry, the Ministry of Transport, NZTA, and Auckland Transport are keen to help.
The wireless charging technology was developed by NZ researchers and has already proven itself. We now have an opportunity to export our novel roadway charging technology to the world. Our dynamic charging roadways will enable a safer, cleaner world for everyone.