Wireless charging firm WiTricity claims most EV shoppers want wireless charging as an option, and it has survey data to prove it.
The company on Thursday released results of a company-commissioned survey of 1,053 Americans, nearly half of which already own an EV, and the others intending to purchase an EV within the next two years.
Of those respondents, 96% wanted at least the option of wireless EV charging. Wireless charging was also the most in-demand feature, rated 34% higher than self-driving capability, and topping other features like premium audio systems and park assist.
Appeal of wireless charging for EVs (from WiTricity survey).
More than three-fourths of respondents said they would install wireless-charging hardware in their driveway or garage. A majority also said they would use wireless charging at public locations, workplaces, are shared living areas like apartments or condos, but that's dependent on property owners installing the hardware.
EV shoppers also believe wireless charging could make public charging easier by not having to search for the right plug, the survey found.
About 40% of current EV owners surveyed identified that as a current challenge with public charging. And 46% of Baby Boomers surveyed were concerned about accessibility at public charging stations for people with mobility issues, WiTricity noted. By cutting out the concern about charge cables, wireless charging could address that.
Wireless charging in parking building - WiTricity
WiTricity has also claimed—with a previous study, also company-commissioned—that wireless charging could sell more EVs. And the technology does have the potential to be quite efficient—nearly as efficient as physical charging or in cases where there are longer cables, more so.
Yet while wireless charging was expected to catch on more broadly with a unified standard to 11 kw, but so far it hasn't—largely due to the cost of the hardware, which can cost as much for a single charging pad—and limited vehicle compatibility—as for a set of several Level 2 chargers. WiTricity told Green Car Reports that in its survey it did include the idea that wireless charging would come at a premium price but didn't focus on a particular dollar amount.
So far, use of the tech in private vehicles has been limited. BMW tested wireless home charging with its 5 Series plug-in hybrid, but it doesn't appear that pilot program will be broadened. The Genesis GV60 will include it on a limited basis in its home South Korea—the first factory system.
Some aftermarket systems have been available for certain EVs. WiTricity is preparing one for the Tesla Model 3, for example. The supplier Continental earlier this year revealed a different kind of solution that allows some of the benefits of wireless charging—a "charging robot" that uses a physical connection.