Apple’s latest patent drops a hint at how its electric car may get charged

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Apple’s latest patent drops a hint at how its electric car may get charged
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  • Apple showcases various charging system that can be used to power its electric car.
  • The USTPO published a patent that details the charging system.
  • The charging system includes off-board charging, on-board charging and more.
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We heard about the Apple electric car being in the works which may arrive in the coming years. Now, a patent published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office ( USPTO) showcases how various charging systems can be used to power autonomous vehicles like cars, trucks, boats and more.

Since charging an electric vehicle can get complex depending on its requirement i.e., charging method, power levels and location of charging, the company is looking to develop various charging systems to meet the demands. Let’s take a look at the charging systems that Apple might introduce with its electric car.

On-board charging


First, we take a look at the onboard charging system, which is installed in vehicles and requires less space, weighing less than the off-board charger. Here, the vehicle gets charged by connecting the charger using a plug interface to the vehicle’s battery.

It uses two conductors where one will be connected to the alternating current terminals of an onboard alternating current-to-direct current converter of the vehicle and the second pair of conductors are connected to terminals of a battery of the vehicle. The battery gets charged through alternating current from the first conductor while being charged via direct current from the second conductor. This system will be used for limited charging requirements.

Off-board charging


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If a user requires large power and fast charging, then an off-board set-up that requires an alternating current circuit breaker panel can be installed at home to charge the battery of a vehicle. Here, the off-board charging system will allow the vehicle battery to be charged concurrently with both alternating current and direct current. Here, an external battery can be used to provide direct current and increase the charging rate.

The off-board charger can help provide alternating current to the onboard charging system alternating current-to-direct current converter, which will then be utilised to charge the battery. It can help reduce the size and cost of the external charger.

Sometimes, a charging communications system of the vehicle controls both the alternating current based onboard charger and the direct current output of the off-board charger.

Solar charging


Even solar cells can be used to power the vehicle battery. It will be able to provide a direct current to charge the battery and can be used to charge external battery storage. The external battery storage can later be used with the off-board charging system to provide power at a faster rate.

External battery usage can also be used bi-directionally using direct-current to direct-current converter. This can be utilised to either charge the battery of the vehicle or at home during blackouts. A charging interface is used to connect the charging modules to the battery of the vehicles.
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These modules of charging open up many possibilities for powering electric vehicles in the future.
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