An ultra-fast wireless charging system fully charged a Class 8 electric terminal tractor in about 15 minutes in a test at the Port of Los Angeles, according to Ideanomics, a company focused on driving the adoption of commercial electric vehicles.
"We're showing that today, right now, electric heavy-duty vehicles can operate 24/7, "topping off" their charge while the work is happening," said Robin Mackie, Ideanomics Mobility president, in a statement. "The benefits of this technology are crystal clear — fleet operators become more efficient by cutting out vehicle downtime otherwise spent filling up or plugging a central depot."
Construction and charger installation at the Port of Los Angeles is underway, and Ideanomics expects the first 500kW charger to enter service in 2023. Supported by an $8.4 million U.S. Department of Energy grant, the WAVE 500kW charger is being deployed as part of a consortium project.
About 12 million medium- and heavy-duty trucks are in service today in the U.S., many still powered by polluting combustion engines. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides $75 billion in programs and tax credits to electrify these vehicles, giving fleet operators the confidence to transition faster. Several of these programs and incentives include specific designations to electrify heavy-duty vehicles operating in disadvantaged communities and at ports and warehouses.
To help further accelerate the deployment of wireless charging, Ideanomics is offering an "as a service" model, partnering with the IRA, an e-commerce company, to deploy wireless charging and electric vehicles on a subscription basis. The customer pays a flat monthly fee instead of an upfront cost.
Wireless charging is an ideal solution for a fleet operator with vehicles moving along a fixed route, according to the company. Automated and unobtrusive high-power wireless charging keeps vehicles powered up during regularly scheduled stops. Additionally, it allows for smaller batteries and fewer chargers, resulting in reduced vehicle weight and costs.
Ideanomics also provides electrification solutions for ports and warehouses. Earlier this year, Ideanomics released its WareSmart platform to help Southern California warehouse operators plan and implement clean fleet technology to comply with local regulations.
The company views WAVE wireless charging as a flagship charging technology incorporating wireless charging into the design of the company's next generation of electric vehicles.