Date of Award:

Spring 2017

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Jason C. Quinn

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Robert E. Spall

Abstract

Electric vehicles are the main technology currently being pursued to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the transportation sector. These vehicles provide both reduced greenhouse gas emissions and decreased operating costs when compared to conventional internal combustion vehicles, while providing the flexibility to use both renewable and fossil energy. However, these vehicles have seen limited consumer adoption due to their large purchase prices and limited driving range. Both purchase price and driving range are related to the large onboard battery systems required for electric vehicle travel.

One solution to decrease dependence on large battery systems has focused on charging vehicles in-motion using wireless power transfer. In-motion charging of electric vehicles would allow for longer range travel with smaller onboard battery systems which would lead to cheaper vehicles and, in turn, greater consumer acceptance. Wireless power transfer is commonly used for small electronics (i.e. cell phones), but has seen limited use on large scale projects. Therefore, limited work has been done to understand the feasibility of in-motion charging of electric vehicles using wireless power transfer.

The goal of this thesis is to better understand the economic feasibility, environmental benefit, and infrastructure requirements of a wirelessly charged electric vehicle fleet for transportation in the United States.

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