Charging electric vehicles can cause minor or major problems, especially if, for example, the built-in charging head at a public charging station is broken or cracked. Live chargers work the same way: when charging is started, a latch locks the head into the car’s charging port so that it cannot be pulled out while charging. Charging efficiency can be reduced if the connector pins don’t fit perfectly, so this technology still needs work.
And Ford engineers are doing the same thing, according to Green Car Reports. According to the publication, the automaker has filed a patent application that will complement the charging heads with a magnetic connector.
Ford filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on November 1 last year. The essence of the development is that the charging head would be fixed with magnets for more stable charging. The idea is similar to the MagSafe connector used in Apple computers, which prevents a stuck wire connector from breaking or damaging as the magnet simply releases the wire when more force is applied.
According to plans, the American manufacturer’s solution could be used for pure electric drives and plug-in hybrid models, both with direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) charging. The original idea was for the magnetic charger to be built into the car’s bumper, but this could cause problems if access to the charging post is difficult or the cable is not long enough. However, the patent application mentions that the magnetic technology can also be used with conventional charging connectors.
Although there are already experiments with wireless charging of electric vehicles today, the current solution still requires an actual physical connection. However, magnets have already been used by other manufacturers, such as in the charging robot of the Dodge Ram Charger pickup truck, which works on the principle of induction.
There is no word yet on when Ford’s solution might appear in their production vehicles. The main problem that needs to be solved is the installation in the bumper, because this means vulnerability, especially in the event of an impact.
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