Published on March 24th, 2011 | by Susan Kraemer


Google Tries Wireless EV Charging from PluglessPower

March 24th, 2011 by  

Google is testing wireless recharging of electric cars at its headquarters in Mountain View, from Virginia-based Evatran, which has developed the memorably named PluglessPower – maybe they’ll drop the other name if PluglessPower takes off.

With great potential for easing the transition from the oil age, wireless electric vehicle recharging is new, but it is based on inductive technology, which has been used in electrical transformers for more than 100 years. An electrical transformer is “split” between the vehicle and charger. When the two come together, current flows and charges the EV’s battery.

Google already has multiple neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) that are used for low speed travel in an employee car share program. Initially it will try the PluglessPower technology on one of its retrofitted low speed vehicles for driving around campus.

Some much larger companies than Evatran are looking into wireless charging. We’ve covered GM’s foray into wireless charging for the Volt and bikes that can recharge your iPhone.

This will be the first public trial of their technology. If you use NEVs for your business, or your municipality, Evatran is now looking for additional field trial options for later this year.

Via Wired

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

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  • Bob Wallace

    I’ve seen another picture of these chargers installed in a parking space. In front of the space is a unit which looks like a small gas pump.

    Imagine we attached an arm to that ‘pump’, an arm that could more up/down, right/left, in/out and had an electrical connection at its end.

    Then when someone pulled into the parking space they would push a ‘Charge’ button on their dash, a small door on the front of the EV would slid open, and the arm would attach its connection to the EV.

    Now we would have 100% efficient charging, not loose the 10% of power wasted in inductive charging. We wouldn’t have to carry a set of inductive coils around in our cars. We could probably charge faster.

    What I’ve read is that these inductive chargers will cost $3,800. Seems like a simple arm would be cheaper.

    (We already have robotic gas pumps that can identify your car type, open the gas filler, insert the nozzle, and replace the gas cap.)

    • Tell me, where ARE these “robotic gas pumps that can identify your car type, open the gas filler, insert the nozzle, and replace the gas cap.” I’m always leaving the gas cap behind! (And I hate pouring in stinky gasoline…)

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