For EVs to catch up with traditional vehicles, topping up the battery will need to be made simple, secure, and reliable. Wi‑Fi looks set to solve a part of this challenge.

Around the world, the electrification of road vehicles shows no signs of slowing down. Driven by their reduced environmental impact, low operation and maintenance costs, and, crucially, government monetary and non‑monetary subsidies, a growing number of individuals and businesses are opting for electric vehicles (EVs) over vehicles powered by conventional internal combustion engines.

By 2030, around 10 percent of road vehicles, roughly 115 million in total, will be electric, according to projections by ABI Research. Even as their fraction of EVs remains low, their cumulative mileage will increase faster relative to conventional vehicles due to higher utilization rates of vehicles in car‑sharing schemes, taxi fleets, and rental cars.

But competing against internal combustion engine‑powered cars in terms of cost, comfort, and convenience will not be easy. The EV industry has come a long way over the past decade, but conventional automobiles and the infrastructure that supports them have been fine‑tuned over the past century. To this day, the main pain points holding back the industry continue to be autonomy, range, and refueling.

As a result, demand for EV charging stations is on the rise, with an anticipated CAGR of 16.3% from 2018 to 2023. APAC is leading the market in 2019, with China aiming to add another 4.8 million charging stations to the roughly half‑million it already had by the end of 2017. The EU is aiming to increase the number of public charging stations on its territory from around 140,000 today to half a million by 2020.

Fast and furious wireless

Today, EV charging is almost entirely wired. AC charging, in which users simply plug into an available power socket still dominates. The trend, however, is towards faster DC charging, which, by 2030, should make up more than 70% of public charging stations. Faster charging translates directly into a time gain for drivers and, by making it easier for them to top up their cars’ batteries during a trip, increases the range of their vehicles.

Wireless charging stations promise to further increase the convenience of EV charging. According to manufacturing leaders, in addition to shortening setup time (drivers simply have to park over the wireless charger), wireless charging do away with the need for charging cables, increase safety, and simplify maintenance.

Wi‑Fi is about to transform the entire EV charging ecosystem

By using Wi‑Fi to communicate wirelessly between the EV, the user, and the charging infrastructure, charging stations are becoming much more than just a charger. In both wired (AC/DC) and wireless charging setups, Wi‑Fi is establishing itself as the most efficient solution to manage the charging process.

At the same time, it is enabling a slew of new services targeting the users – connecting with the user’s infotainment system, providing information on the charging infrastructure, simplifying and securing billing, and more.

To learn more about how Wi‑Fi gives stakeholders new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition and pave the way for new business models and more important the main architectures and solutions on the market, download our white paper on Future‑proofing EV charging solutions with Wi‑Fi. The white paper offers our unique insight into how to align your of hardware architecture with your company’s strategic objectives.

Author: Pedro Lopez Estepa - Senior Product Marketing Manager, Product Strategy Short Range Radio, u‑blox AG

Electrical Vehicle Charging: Webinar invitation

The rise in the use of electric vehicles is simultaneously increasing the need for electric vehicle charging stations. This 30-minute webinar covers the following:

> Electrical vehicle (EV) charging as of today and tomorrow
> When EV charging meets Wi-Fi
> Interpret architecture implementations and standards
> When wireless technology is the right choice
Register to watch the webinar today at https://www.u-blox.com/webinar