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Evatran plans trials of Plugless Power wireless charging technology with commercial partners for early 2012; outfitting Volts and LEAFs

5 December 2011

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Plugless Power system components. Click to enlarge.

Evatran, a developer of wireless charging systems for electric vehicles (earlier post), has signed contracts with six commercial participants to outfit their Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF models with pre-production Plugless Power wireless charging systems. Plugless Power is a Level 2 (240V at 30A, 3.3 kW rated power output) inductive charging system, with a transfer efficiency of 90%.

Building on Evatran’s first product trials around its headquarters in Virginia and its prototype installation at Google’s Mountain View campus in early 2011, this trial, which Evatran is calling the “Apollo Launch Program”, will follow market leaders from six industry segments as they trial Plugless Power systems on their own Volt and LEAF vehicles.

Participants range from car rental agencies to corporate campuses to utility providers; installations will occur in locations across the United States. Participants will be asked to provide feedback on daily usage routines, user interfaces, and any additional functionality needed. The trial will culminate in a body of feedback for Evatran to incorporate into the production design of its aftermarket product line, launching towards the end of 2012.

Evatran is planning announcements regarding the participants of the trial for early January, with installations beginning in February 2012. A second phase of the trial is planned for the third quarter of 2012 to include additional participants across the country.

Evatran is planning additional initiatives in 2012 to reach EV owners across the country and allow them to experience the ease of hands-free charging technology on their own cars.

Evatran intends for Plugless Power tobe available as a dealer-installed feature on new EVs or as a retrofit system. The system adds less than 10 pounds (4.54 kg) to the weight of the vehicle and is wired directly into the existing onboard battery charger.

The vehicle adapter is installed on the undercarriage of the car based on available space and surrounding components. A Plugless Power technician will install the charging station using a standard 240V outlet. Maintenance and service will be provided through the Plugless Power customer service network.

Evatran was founded in 2009 by MTC Transformers, a provider of transformers and rewind services Evatran and Yazaki North America have a Joint Development Agreement to develop and market Plugless Power technology to automotive manufacturers as a factory or dealership option. (Earlier post.)

December 5, 2011 in Infrastructure, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

I do like implementation speed and system weight. But charging efficiency little too low. 95% would be O.K.

Darius...others have already reach 94% to 96% efficiency. They will all be there soon. Most future BEVs will probably have a cord lees charging option with wireless feedback on your iphone or tablet.

Question of EMF health risk is TBD. What if you pull into your garage a little too forward, or back of the induction sweet spot??

What's meant by "90% transfer efficiency"? Is it sender to receiver or sender to power in the battery?

Recently Nissan stated that their wireless charger was 85% to 90% efficient which meant it was almost as efficient as hard wire charging. And common assumption is a 10% loss in wire to battery, so up to 5% loss from the wireless part.

A wireless charged bus being installed in Utah claims 2% loss with their charging system.

A <5% loss is almost certainly going to be financially acceptable. It's going to be one or two tenths of a cent per mile for EVs charging with eight cent power. Less than $2/month for the average driver.

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Parking in the right spot. Easy enough to glue down some parking blocks in your garage. Just small hard plastic humps to let you know when you've arrived.

Wireless charging is going to be the answer to public charging. Just install senders at parking spots along the street and in parking lots for those without garages. One CPU can manage numerous senders. All it needs is ID from the vehicle to know how much to charge and where to bill. And to send a cell phone message to the driver if it is a limited time (only while charging) parking space.

Just more proof that things are going forward at break-neck speed in EV land. Just a 3 years ago I was glad if I could buy an EV in the 2nd half of this decade. Now I can have one with wireless charging 2 years from now.

Bob,

The stated losses are almost certainly wall socket-receiver. Anything before or after that is out of Evatran's control. And of course, also in the interest of marketing you'll want to claim an efficiency as high as possible.

You don't get 10% loss in a wire. The charger losses are in the electronics that convert 120 or 230 V AC to <whatever> V DC.

The wireless charging simply adds another 10% loss, since the cable it replaces is virtually 100% efficient.

Embedded, invisible transmitter units, will be mostly burglar proof. Electronic guidance will position the vehicle in the proper spot.

Sweet Spot remains a problem are for me. In public lots, you have dozens of different models to accommodate. Drivers are notoriously erratic in parking any vehicle. If slightly off Spot, do you lose some of the charge you presumably pay for?? It DOES solve wired tampering/theft issues, though.

Anne, I agree, it has been something of a whirlwind. We spend too much time whining about lack of progress, when acknowledging progress would have far greater impact. We have two PHEVs (Prius, VOLT)and two BEV production cars (Leaf, Tesla) we can buy at dealers. We can thank this Administration for supporting electrification. And activists like those here.

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