Dutch start-up develops system for wireless and contactless charging • Orderauto.nl

Start-up Mego Mobility has developed a revolutionary wireless and contactless charging system for light electric cars. Charging simply starts as soon as the user parks the vehicle above the charger. This world premiere with the brand name Swell Electric can soon be admired at the ‘World of eMobility’ at Expo Haarlemmermeer, 27-29. October.

Terence Carter, founder of Mego Mobility, was looking for a universal charging solution for the electric fleet of his KlusHubs – more on that later. There was no such solution yet. The already existing charging tiles are mainly suitable for the lower power transmissions, for example an electric bicycle. But these systems are not universal and the power transmission is not sufficient for larger vehicles such as microcars.

Therefore, Carter, who was a participant in the Mobility Lab start-up program in 2021, decided to develop a charging solution himself in collaboration with electrical engineers from TU Delft. The result: Swell Electric. This charging system can charge vehicles wirelessly and contactlessly, up to a distance of ten centimeters – Airgap – and up to an energy requirement of no less than 1 kilowatt. Charging simply starts as soon as the user parks the vehicle above the charger.

What is unique about Swell Electric is that it can charge light electric vehicles (LEVs) with different power requirements: from, for example, a rechargeable bicycle, with a relatively low battery capacity, to a microcar. The transmitter in the charger recognizes the vehicle and adjusts the required power accordingly. The current is generated in the form of an electromagnetic field (induction). This field is collected by a coil which is attached to the underside of the vehicle. With the help of self-developed electronics, the current is converted into the correct form for the vehicle/battery in question.

The user can track the charging progress via two LED strips on the front of the charger. When the battery is sufficiently charged or when the vehicle is moved, charging stops automatically.

The electronics are therefore universal, but must first be tested per vehicle type in order to function optimally. In this first phase, Mego Mobility has optimized the Swell Electric for the electric scooter of the Chinese brand Niu. Terence Carter explains why: “This scooter is widely used in sharing systems. A wireless charging solution for this scooter does not yet exist and fleet operators currently have to change the batteries. This is an expensive part of the operating costs.

Swell Electric therefore offers opportunities for shared mobility providers as well as for parcel delivery services currently transitioning from van to a combination of LEVs for inner city delivery. “Therefore, we are now looking for parties who will test the charger in the form of a pilot and thus contribute to the transition to light electric transport. We are also looking for investors who want to contribute to the financing of this transition.”

In the next phase, Carter wants to test the charger step by step and optimize it for other vehicles, starting with the Birò. Apart from a small, removable battery or a normal plug, this microcar cannot be easily charged in the city. “The municipality of Amsterdam has indicated that this vehicle may not be connected to charging stations intended for cars. At the same time, the supply of LEVs is growing rapidly as cities become car-free and emission-free, so there is an absolute need for this system,” said Carter.

Carter himself will use Swell Electric to charge the LEVs he rents out at his KlusHubs. At transfer points around major cities, professionals can rent these vehicles per half day: an electric assisted cargo bike, an electric scooter or an electric microcar, Birò. Customers park their car or bus at the Hub and drive into the city without emissions, without traffic jams or parking problems. With the rented vehicles, Mego Mobility targets professionals in the construction, maintenance and installation sector. The first KlusHubs have now been realized around Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

A world of e-mobility

Mego Mobility and Swell Electric will soon be exhibiting at the ‘World of eMobility’ fair at Expo Haarlemmermeer, from 27 – 29 October. During this fair, both major international brands and start-ups present their latest innovations in sustainable mobility. The fair is open to everyone. Mego Mobility and Swell are in the ‘Land of Tomorrow’ hall.

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