Hertz Tests Evatran Wireless Electric Car ChargingEnlarge Photo
How will you be charging your electric car in future? In your garage? At work? At a rest stop somewhere with a fast charger?
Or will you be using a wireless charger, embedded in a parking spot somewhere, that you can simply park over and forget about?
It's a question many are asking, and one Evatran, a Morrisville electric charging startup, is trying to answer.
Evatran is betting on wireless charging being the next big thing with electric cars, and according to the Charlotte Observer, the concept has already been adopted by tool and appliance chain Sears, which plans to sell and install garage-based versions of the wireless system.
Wireless charging is a simple concept. Also known as inductive charging, electric coils mounted in the ground pad and the vehicle create an electromagnetic field which is converted into electrical current, charging the battery.
The ground pad can be mounted under flooring, protecting it from the elements, and deterring thieves. The distance between floor unit and car is around six inches, and charges at 240 volts.
It's all about convenience, according to Evatran. Not just from being able to park and forget with its Plugless Power system, but also to avoid having to handle dirty or damp charging plugs--or avoid spending a minute fumbling with the cord in a rainstorm.
The company also wants to beat the rush towards new technologies, too. By testing and introducing the system now, it's more likely to be ready as electric cars get more popular.
Several companies are already testing, or about to test Evatran's system, including Duke Energy, Google, Clemson University, Hertz Rent A Car and others.
At the moment, the system is only compatible with the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. That's not proving to be too much of a barrier it seems, as Evatran has already received 180 online reservations for its Plugless Power units. Auto dealers would be required to install the car-mounted part of the unit.
The unit is expected to retail for less than $3,000, not including installation. That's significantly more than conventional rechargers, but Evatran expects that the convenience factor will draw in the buyers.
So is wireless charging the future of electric cars? Or should some other aspect of electric ownership be prioritized first? Let us know in the comments section below.