Electric cars have come a long way, but they are still limited by the current infrastructure and their own nature, requiring electrical outlets or charging stations.
Beginning in 2017, Mercedes-Benz plans to change this by introducing inductive charging in the automotive segment. Already used in things such as smartphones, it uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects.
The system is comprised of two components: a secondary coil in the vehicle floor and a base plate with integrated primary coil. The two coils combine to form an electrical transformer, with the secondary unit taking power from the electromagnetic field and converting it back into electric current to charge the battery.
The base plate, which doubles as a cable-free charging station, can be placed on the garage floor or in a protected area in front of a carport.
A display message in the vehicle’s cabin will inform the driver whether the automobile is in the tolerance rage over the charging station. As soon as a suitable position has been achieved, charging will commence automatically – with the electrical energy being transmitted “wirelessly” without a charging cable, at a power output of up to 3.6 kW.
The technology will be initially made available as an optional extra on the facelifted S500 e, and Mercedes describes it as one of the next steps towards the perfect electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The solution, particularly designed to aid charging convenience at home, will eventually find its way into all electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz.