We’ve talked about the Audi e-tron Quattro Concept quite a bit since its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this past September. It’s going to be Audi’s flagship EV when it finally hits dealerships, which should be sometime during 2018. The e-tron Quattro will boast a very impressive stat sheet when it debuts; 310 mile range, 496 hp and 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. Well, it’s possible that the e-tron Quattro, or whatever it’s called when it debuts, will have wireless charging as at least an option in 2018.
Audi is shooting for debuting its AWC (Audi Wireless Charging) system in 2017, as a way to charge its electric vehicles in customers homes with an initial 3.6 kW power output, but 11 kW will come after. The AWC system will work by having an inductive charging plate installed in the floor of an owners garage and charges the car when it drives and parks over it. As the car approaches the charging plate, it connects with it and shows where it is on the infotainment display in the car, so the driver can park the car over it just right. Then the plate actually rises out of the floor to get closer to the battery and its alternating electromagnetic field induces and alternating current in the car’s secondary coil across the air gap. An AC/DC converter inverts the current, which is then fed into the high-voltage electrical system. There it charges the battery and powers additional consumers such as the heating or air conditioning as needed. The driver can interrupt the charging process at any time, and charging stops automatically when the battery is full. In Europe, the Audi’s remote parking system can park over the charging plate, even with the driver out of the car.
If this technology can debut in 2017, it’s almost a sure thing that the upcoming e-tron Quattro will have it as at least an option in 2018. Audi would almost have to do so, as it would give it a huge leg up over companies like Tesla and BMW, who currently don’t have that sort of technology. While all of those other companies are working on inductive charging technology, there’s no word on whether or not those companies will have it by 2017. So it’s possible that Audi could be the first company to bring the technology to the public.
There’s currently some aftermarket wireless charging technology for many electric cars, but nothing from manufacturers just yet. If Audi can be the first in introduce the technology, maybe even introducing it on the A3 e-tron or Q7 e-tron, it could cement itself as on of the leaders in electric mobility, something that only Tesla and BMW have been able to claim thus far. The e-tron Quattro is looking to be one of the most promising electric vehicles in the works, if it can have inductive charging as well, it’s possible that it could be one of the better EVs on the market.