The concept of a plug-free electric-car is not a new idea, and with the rise in popularity of green automobiles, it comes as no surprise that a number of companies are investing big bucks in self-powered vehicles. So to get in gear with the times, the students at Germany’s Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences have developed an electric car completely powered by induction — a wireless charging system that is used in chargers such as the Powermat. Dubbed the E-Quickie by its creators, this compact car derives all of its energy from electrical conductors embedded in the road. With receivers placed underneath the vehicle, energy is captured from the tracks through electric induction and is directed straight to the car’s hub drive, which features an impressive 2kw electrical engine.
The vehicle’s racing track was provided by the firm SWE in Bruchsal, while the E-Quickie itself was designed with the highest technical materials in order to keep the vehicle’s weight to a minimum. A three-wheeled carbon fiber vehicle weighing just 60kg (132lb) with room for just one driver, the E-Quickie’s chassis was constructed to be as aerodynamic as possible, optimized in a virtual wind tunnel for ultimate sleekness. However, even with such a reduced weight Prof. Jürgen Walter, a faculty member of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics and head of the project, states that he is confident that the vehicle’s weight can be further reduced by 40kg (88lb) through further optimization.
“With other vehicle types you have a weight ratio between driver and vehicle of 1:10/1:15. We’re aiming for a ratio of 1:2 through further development of the E-Quickie,” said Walter. With its low mass and its 2kw engine, the E-Quickie is able to reach an impressive speed of 50mph.
“The aim was not only to show how quickly you can move around with the E-Quickie, but most of all how energy efficient the car is,” explains Walter. “We went to the start with half-filled batteries and returned with full ones.” While the E-Quickie does not need batteries, as it draws its power from the track, they have been implemented to form a buffer. “Here the small accumulators then jump on-board the E-Quickie as an energy buffer,” explains Walter, “for example when it’s driven into the garage.”
The vehicle has already seen a measure of success, with the E-Quickie completing 40 laps on the 222-meter (728-ft) conductor track in May this year.