Electrification of the Port of Los Angeles, beside conventional charging solutions, includes also wireless fast charging systems for Class 8 electric trucks.
The wireless charging systems are often used for the local fleets of yard trucks or fleets that operate fixed routes, like buses, because each vehicle must be specifically compatible with a particular system.
In the case of the Port of Los Angeles, there is a project underway, to build multiple Ideanomics’ WAVE stalls – 125 kilowatt (kW), 250 kW, 380 kW and even 500 kW.
Ideanomics announced that the 500 kW version of the WAVE wireless charger has been successfully tested in September and is on its way to enter service in 2023. The project received an $8.4 million grant from the US Department of Energy.
According to the press release, such a power level is expected to fully recharge a Class 8 electric truck in less than 15 minutes. Of course, it assumes that the battery pack is relatively small (for local operation) of around 125 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and ready to accept ultra-fast charging.
A rendering of WAVE’s wireless charging technology produced by Ideanomics
The main advantage of the wireless charging system is that it allows to conduct quick charging sessions, without the necessity to connect and disconnect a plug.
If the wireless charging stalls would be deployed strategically, at loading/unloading bays, the vehicles would be getting a portion of energy each time.
Robin Mackie, Ideanomics Mobility president said:
“We’re showing that today, right now, electric heavy-duty vehicles can operate 24/7, “topping off” their charge while the work is happening. 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.”
At this point, it’s not yet clear whether in the long-term wireless charging will become a mainstream solution or rather a niche, for some specific applications. For sure, it would be a crucial solution for autonomous electric vehicles as well.