There are more and more plans to make wireless charging a reality. Indeed, filling up your electric car with electrons without using wires is tempting.

Now two companies have joined forces to develop an efficient and effective system that, at least at this early stage, seems to be yielding encouraging results.

The companies in question are Austrian Easelink and Dutch NXP Semiconductors. They have developed a system that allows the car to be positioned correctly above the charging plate based on ultra-wide band (or simply UWB) technology.

How the positioning works

In concrete terms, the system uses UWB to analyse the positioning of the car and instructs the driver where to manoeuvre via a special display mounted on the dashboard, near the front left pillar, in order to then correctly start the induction charging operations.

To do this, it adopts a module in the lower part of the vehicle that, through measurements using the 'time of flight' method (a system that launches impulses and calculates their return time), finds the correct positioning of the car.

Once the correct position has been reached, the system alerts the driver that charging can be started. By giving the appropriate command, a special mechanism from underneath the car lowers the distance to the plate and starts to receive energy to be channelled to the battery.

For taxis in Vienna and Graz

This 'wireless' charging system is currently being tested on a fleet of taxis in Austria. The induction plates were installed at taxi stands as early as the end of 2023 (in eight car parks in Vienna and two in Graz) and now have a fleet of 60 cars, including Ioniq 5 and Volkswagen ID.4, all equipped with this system, called Matrix Charging.

The mobile mechanism that comes out from under the car and the charging plate

Michael Leitner, head of the Austrian division of NXP Semiconductors said, "With the UWB-based technology we can offer a convenient, precise and efficient wireless charging system. We are now working on a series of connected applications that will allow us to create a richer ecosystem related to electric car charging".