Based on type, electric and hybrid cars can be charged in three ways namely plug-in charging, wireless charging and battery swap. The plug in charging can be done at home through the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) at home or at public EVSE stations where they have to pay for charging. In battery swap, the charged battery is swapped with the discharged one either manually or robotically from the rear of plug-in electric vehicle. Wireless car chargers are used in electric and hybrid vehicles wherein they are charged through an electromagnetic field created by an inductive pad when they are parked over it.
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The demand for electric and hybrid cars is increasing in the global market due to its emission-less operation. These cars are powered by electric motors that run on rechargeable battery packs. Their fuel-independence benefits also minimize worry of the user on account of the unstable fuel prices. Wireless car chargers provide a high degree of convenience to the electric and hybrid vehicle users due to its safe and hassle-free feature. Wireless charging charges the cars at a faster rate with an efficiency of over 90%, as compared to the less efficient and slow wired model of charging. The wireless car charging manufacturers are expected to roll out wireless charging products with more than one wireless charging stations over the next few years. The tightening of emission norms are leading to the growth of electric and hybrid cars market and also laying growth opportunities for wireless car charging market. Toyota and Nissan are amongst the key electric and hybrid car manufacturers using wireless charging in their cars.
One of the key restraints for the wireless car charging industry is lack of unified standard of products from the manufacturers. However, efforts in this area are made to standardize the products and avoid wastage of resources. For instance, in 2013, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) announced to issue a standard frequency for wireless power transfer in electric vehicles in 2014. Hybrid Electric Vehicle Optimization (HEVO Power) Power, a New York based wireless charging solutions company are planning to introduce wireless charging manholes in 2014 in the U.S. in the form of a pilot project. The increasing government funding on EVSEs are posing threat to the wireless car charging market wherein the customers’ inclination towards the purchase of electric cars with wired charging facility is expected to increase.
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Among the regions, Europe dominated the global sales of wireless car charging market in 2013, followed by North America. The market for wireless car chargers is expected to grow at a fast rate in Asia Pacific countries; especially China where the government is making efforts to make transportation clean. The economic downturn in Europe has affected the growth of electric and hybrid cars market which has also impacted the sale of wireless car charger market. However, the region is recovering and the wireless car charger market is also expected to recover during 2014-2020. The key companies operating in the wireless car charging market include Bosch Group, Energizer, LG, Evatran Group, Intel, Witricity, Qualcomm, Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), Conductix-Wampfler and Convenient Power.