Electric vehicle charging stations have mostly utilized power cords, which are very cheap, reliable, and effective. However, wireless charging takes convenience to a whole new level, and makes public charging more attractive.
Imagine if your gas-powered car could automatically top itself up every time you parked at home, at a shop, or at a restaurant, even in the rain. Then you could enjoy the range of a full tank of gas every single day without having to get out and pump it at a smelly gas station. Electric cars are approaching this stage now, and I must say, it is quite cool! Electricity opens some new windows of opportunity.
According to a Toyota press release, Prius PHEV owners expressed an interest in wireless chargers to “avoid the fuss of a cable.” While there is hardly any fuss (compared to filling up at a gas station), wireless charging does have other benefits and is even a bit more convenient, as stated above.
Addressing this interest, Toyota will begin “verification” of a resonant induction charging system it has been developing in 2014 in the US and Europe.
In the words of Satoshi Ogiso, the managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation:
We have been listening very carefully to Prius PHV owners over the past two years… and are considering their requests for additional all-electric range.
We have also heard from these owners, that they would like a more convenient charging operation. In response, we are developing a new wireless/inductive charging system that produces resonance between an on-floor coil and an onboard coil to recharge the battery without the fuss of a cable.
Finally, there is a safety concern about the electromagnetic waves produced by the wireless charging systems. However, this is still a grey area to some of us.