A wireless charging system built for electric bikes is currently on show at the IAA Mobility event, with the engineers at Intis telling CI.N the idea is edging closer to becoming a reality.
The research and development project is funded by the EU’s Interreg project which is designed to offer up cash to innovative ideas across the transport, health and environmental sectors.
Richard Gould, Intis Head of Business Development told CI.N this week that the inductive charging system is capable of delivering an 85% efficiency against a plug in system and, thanks to its design, is a particularly efficient solution for bike share or hire operators. The system is even CE certified to be used on electric scooters and the firm has begun working with Metz to deliver just that.
“For now we remain a prototype, but it is a working unit and one that we have on test with the Groningen police force who have two electric bikes featuring our technology. The benefits to those with fleets are wide-ranging. You’re not paying somebody to manually plug the electric bikes in, so it’s time efficient in that you simply dock the bike and walk away. This system also means the batteries can be smaller as they are receiving regular short charges. This is beneficial in prolonging the battery life and health and you can set the charge parameter to 20 through 80%, which is the ideal boundary to long lasting battery health.”
The system works with the transfer of power taking place via inductive coils embedded in a small metal plate mounted to the bike’s head tube. Thanks to its shape this plate doubles as a potential locking mechanism, securing the bikes. Intis has developed a smaller iteration of the demo unit on show in anticipation of one day commercialising the system.
It’s not just bikes that Intis has developed the technology for, however. Demonstrated at IAA was an autonomous shuttle that charged itself off road-based pads measuring about 50cm by 50cm. In 2022, INTIS will also present an inductive charging lane for electric taxis in Cologne as part of the TALAKO project.
The wireless charging for electric bikes idea has been floated and even prototyped by others too. In 2018, CI.N carried this interview with mechanical engineer Prith David, a Zurich-based entrepreneur behind the company Sciyent.