Published on February 20th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Toyota Begins Wireless Charging Trial (VIDEO)

February 20th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Gas2.

Toyota has started testing a wireless electric car charging station that the automaker claims can fully recharge a Prius Plug-in in about 90 minutes. While hardly lightning fast, the convenience of wireless electric charging could give electrified vehicles another distinct advantage over combustion engines.

The trial will utilize three Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrids equipped with WiTricity wireless magnetic-resonance recharging technology. Toyota invested in the MIT-spin-off company last year in a bid to bolster its technology portfolio. Rugged charging pads can be placed in just about any parking spot, and any compatible car parked over the pad will begin charging immediately, taking the plug out of the Prius Plug-in. A 2 kW receiver allows the 4.4 kWh battery pack to be recharged in as little as 90 minutes.


A Tesla Supercharger, in comparison, can fill up the 85 kWh battery pack of the Model S in under an hour…but you still have to plug it in. Wireless charging technology should eventually be able to match, or even exceed that level of charging, such is the case with South Korea’s all-electric buses, all without a physical connection.

Combined with self-parking technology that places the Prius in the right spot for maximum recharging efficiency, wireless recharging could be a cornerstone of the next-generation Toyota Prius. This would make the next Prius as much a hybrid as a cutting-edge, high-tech car, giving customers another reason to choose it over an ever-increasing field of competitors.

The test will begin later this month in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan, and Toyota plans to introduce the technology on near-future models.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Rufus Truthwright

    I thought the most efficient magnetic induction (wireless) charging systems convey 90% efficiency. Has this been improved upon?

    • Bob_Wallace

      One company is claiming 97%. I haven’t seen their data.

  • Green Globe

    I think this charging method will be the preference for EV owners. It’s so easy. You just back-up, park and walk away while your car charges. BTW, this is like the wireless charging Nokia introduced for their Lumia 920 (?) smartphone. As a Nokia investor I always wanted them to get into the EV charging business. You snooze…. you lose.


  • Wayne Williamson

    This is so cool for those that either don’t have room in the garage or just don’t have a garage. Plus its zero work, just pull into your driveway at night and in the morning, the car is charged.

  • Hitesh Kantharia

    That nice to see that the car reverse park it self. 🙂 Well Toyota should come up with something which can be fixed in all its cars , new and old.


  • Will E

    in the road wireless charging is the way to go for electric car and trucks.
    an onboard range of 150 km will do for all cars ,for small roads and in the road wireless charging for long distance highway wireless charging while driving.

    Train can , car can, all electric.

    • Wayne Williamson

      Will, I believe you are correct although this article is not about that. I would think the first place to lay down something like you describe would be in the commute lane on certain freeways and then expand from there.

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