Plugless Power soon to arrive for electric and hybrid vehicles

July 30, 2010 by Lin Edwards report

( -- Evatran, a company from Virginia in the US, has developed a working prototype of a plugless induction charger for electric and hybrid vehicles, and demonstrated the system at this week’s Plug In conference in San Jose, California.

To recharge a vehicle’s battery using the system, the vehicle parks at a Plugless Power station over a floor-mounted parking block, which automatically aligns itself with a special adapter fitted to the vehicle and begins charging. There is no flow of electricity between the vehicle and parking block and no plugs or cables.

The system operates by electrical induction, which is the principle behind the electrical transformer. In this process electrical current flowing into a primary source produces a flow of current into a secondary source, without using plugs or cords. Induction charging provides the convenience of wireless “hands-free” charging, but the down side is that power loss during charging can reach 20 percent. Evatron says the system is 80 percent efficient at the moment, but hopes to reach 90 percent efficiency by the time production units are released.

The system has three major components: an adapter fitted on the vehicle, a parking block, which is a long flat pad on the ground underneath the vehicle at the or in the garage, and a control tower plugged into the grid. Essentially, the adapter and parking block form two separated halves of an electrical transformer.

The vehicle adapter and parking block both contain metal coils. When a vehicle parks over the block the coils inside the block move under the guidance of magnetic sensors until they are aligned to within 6-8 cm of the coils in the adapter. The tower converts mains electricity into the correct frequency for the charger to use. When the coils are lined up, electricity in the control tower creates a strong in the coils in the parking block, and this induces an electrical current to flow in the coils in the vehicle adapter to charge the batteries.

Induction chargers have been used in portable devices such as mobile phones and electric toothbrushes, and for medical implants, but this is the first time such a system has been tried for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Evatran's corporate trade show video.

A pilot program will run during 2010, and the final version is expected to be released in April next year. Evatron is inviting pioneer electric and owners to join in their field trials.

Explore further: Smart Charger Controller simplifies electric vehicle recharging (w/Video)

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3.8 / 5 (5) Jul 30, 2010
While they are at it they could place large magnets under the highways so cars could recharge themselves as they roll down hills. Just keep grandpa away from THAT road with his 1981 plymouth, as the falling parts would all stick to the road surface afterwards :)
5 / 5 (2) Jul 30, 2010
well you know falling parts would currently stick to the road now due to .. gravity ;-)
not rated yet Jul 30, 2010
El Nose you could market that as a non-metallic magnet.
not rated yet Jul 30, 2010
there needs to be active cooling during fast charging with inductive chargers. otherwise this will take FO-eva.
5 / 5 (1) Jul 30, 2010
Wait till the anti-EMF weirdos get hold of the radiation figures, no matter how irrelevant!

DC-to-DC leveling between an ultracapacitor (at twice voltage and equal KWH) and a SCiB fast-charge battery, solves the problems of grid peak load and fast charge. Big cables a trivial drawback.
2 / 5 (1) Jul 30, 2010
This may be one way to tax electric vehicle use. Can't use just any extension cord. How will it be taxed?
Because governments regulate the auto industry in many ways, no breakthrough technology will be allowed until a way is discovered to substitute the fuel tax.
Fuel oil to heat homes and operate vehicles is the same, except for taxes. The government mandates a separate dye be used for motor fuel and I have heard, diesel RV owners do have their fuel inspected.
5 / 5 (3) Jul 30, 2010
The charging convenience factor is positive, but wasting 20% of the energy, or even 10% is ridiculous and almost defeats the purpose of a supposedly greener alternative. And this is on top of the already not insignificant normal power grid transmission losses.
5 / 5 (2) Jul 30, 2010
While I applaud the desire to cut-the-cord .... Now is NOT the time to promote solutions that dribble off upwards of 20% of the energy all in the name of 'look ma no plugs'.

Hey, I'm not saying we have to kill the puppy but until we've perfected and deployed fission reactors and/or quadrupled the efficiencies in low cost flexible solar we need to behave much more responsibly WRT technologies that were developed specifically to LOWER our ECO footprint and lessen our demand on oil.

Hey this technology will have it's day in the sun ... It just can't be NOW.

Finally, it's not as if the entire population of the US (except NJ) is very familiar with connecting something to their car to fuel it... If someone can operate a gas pump then plugging in a car shield be a cakewalk.
1.7 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2010
Even with 20% energy loss, it is still more efficient and cleaner using electric power compared to gasoline.
2 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
Watch a competitor come along with a cord and plug to ruin their business with 20% lower cost...
5 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2010

Sorry folks but this has been done for almost a century, mostly for industrial trucks and a company sells one now though forget it's name, as few want to waste that much power.

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