Khurram Afridi, Cornell University
Road transportation, which accounts for 22 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, is undergoing a major transformation with the advent of ridesharing, autonomous driving, and vehicle electrification. Collectively these technologies, in conjunction with renewable sources of electricity, have the potential to dramatically reduce the negative impact of road transportation on the health of the planet. The successful convergence of these technologies will require electric vehicles that are low cost and fully autonomous. These attributes can be realized through dynamic wireless charging. However, this will require wireless charging technology that is well beyond current capabilities, and opens new areas of research related to power and transportation infrastructure. Using examples from his current research on capacitive wireless charging (as opposed to the more common inductive techniques), which leverage very high frequency power electronics, Dr. Afridi’s presentation highlighted several opportunities and challenges in dynamic wireless charging of electric vehicles.