Global standards association SAE International chooses Tier 1 automotive supplier Mahle's technology as the industry standard for wireless battery-electric vehicle charging.
Inductive charging is still very much in its infancy and currently has only niche appeal for commercial fleets, such as taxi firms with designated waiting areas where it is feasible to install the costly technology in confined locations.
Nonetheless, it’s an ecological feather in the cap for Mahle as an alternative to plug-in options for commercial fleets needing to keep vehicle downtime to a minimum. Its charging system requires that inductive-capable vehicles be precisely aligned over a floor-based charging coil.
To achieve alignment, the company’s differential inductive positioning system (DIPS) is trumpeted as the breakthrough that opens this technology to commercial applications.
DIPS works by automatically establishing a connection with a controlled floor-mounted charging point as the BEV approaches which, once in position, is then charged automatically. It will also work on vehicles with an autonomous parking function.
Mahle says its system can work faultlessly even in adverse weather conditions, such as when charging point plates are covered in snow or wet leaves. The company says it will make its solution accessible to the automotive industry through a license model under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions.
While Mahle says the future could see highways converted to induction-coil roads, as Stellantis trialed in 2022 at its “Arena del Futuro” circuit near Chiari, Italy, it’s worth pointing out the coils have to be powered all the time and energy is lost unless a vehicle is being charged. The company formulated the standard for this application with Electreon Wireless.
Mahle management board chairman and CEO Arnd Franz says: “SAE’s decision in favor of our technology confirms the systems expertise of Mahle in electrification as well. This will be a strong impetus for e-mobility.”