As part of a major research project to support wireless charging systems for electric vehicles, Bridgestone is working on the supply of electricity to in-wheel electric motors through tyres.
The world's leading tyre maker has partnered with Fujimoto laboratory at the University of Tokyo, and motion and control specialist NSK Ltd for the programme. which is spearheaded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
The JST project seeks to develop new technologies that will ensure sufficient driving distance for EVs with fewer batteries by installing motors inside EV wheels that are able to receive electric power directly from roads when driving or stopping. If successful, this system would address future battery shortages while also helping reduce the weight of EVs.
During the project, the University of Tokyo is responsible for the formulation and iteration of the concept of wireless charging in-motion for in-wheel motors as well as for the research and development of fundamental technologies.
NSK will oversee the development of in-wheel motors that are more easily incorporated into vehicles by utilizing technologies cultivated through previous in-wheel motor projects. It will also explore possible methods of installing the necessary wireless charging infrastructure into society.
The current phase of the project is set to run until 2022 under the JST research theme of addressing the global need to realise a low-carbon society.
By 2022, the project aims to test this system in vehicles equipped with newly developed tyres. As a wide range of input from organisations and companies is incorporated into this system, the project team will move forward with development, targeting a transition to the verification testing phase by 2025.
The University of Tokyo, NSK, and Bridgestone have agreed to leave the basic patent rights associated with this project open.