Bosch Offers Wireless Charging For Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt

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Tired of plugging in your Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt electric car to recharge every night?

Yearn for the simplicity of simply parking over a charging pad and walking away?

Bosch Automotive Service Solutions feels your pain.

The service arm of the German auto-parts maker is now offering a wireless battery-charging system for owners of either plug-in electric vehicle, at a cost of about $3,000 plus installation.

That fee covers the 240-Volt Level 2 charging-station wall unit, an adapter on the vehicle, and the floor-mounted charging pad.

Installation extra

The wall unit not only connects to a 30-Amp 240-Volt power supply and contains the circuitry to enable charging, it also guides the driver to park in the correct location to enable charging.

It's meant to be mounted on a garage wall directly in front of the parking space that will house the electric car. It also shows charging status information.

The adapter, mounted on the undercarriage of the electric car, is unique to each vehicle and contains the receiving coil for the wireless charging system.

An adapter for the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car costs $2,998; the Nissan Leaf adapter runs $3,098.

The parking pad contains the transmitting coil, and is connected via cable to the wall unit.

Know your building code

Electric-car drivers who consider installing such a system should be aware that some local building codes may require trenching the 240-Volt power cable that connects the parking pad to the wall unit.

That will make installation costs somewhat variable.

The 3.3-kilowatt system, called Plugless Power, is made by Evatran Group, which has been testing it in a limited trial program for two years now and first unveiled the system in 2010.

Owners of 2013 Nissan Leafs fitted with the more powerful 6.6-Volt onboard charger should note that the Plugless Power system does not take advantage of its higher capacity, meaning full recharge times of up to 8 hours.

Delphi wireless charging system for EVs

Delphi wireless charging system for EVs

Enlarge Photo

Wireless charging to grow

Also known as inductive charging, wireless charging will grow steadily through 2020 as the total number of installed chargers soars, according to Pike Research.

While it relieves the electric-car driver of having to lift a cable and plug it into a car, it's also considerably more expensive than the $500 to $1,500 cost of a conventional cabled charging system.

And, there is some power loss--as much as 10 to 15 percent--between the two unconnected halves of the charging system.

The Evatrans wireless charging system has been tested by various users over the past two years. Hertz tested the Plugless Power system at its New Jersey headquarters and Google did the same at its Silicon Valley offices.

Other plug-in cars to come

Plugless Power says it's working to bring its system to other electric cars.

It offers a "reserve list" on which owners who have plug-in vehicles that aren't the Leaf or Volt can sign up for priority in ordering when those systems become available.

Meanwhile, Leaf or Volt owners who are interested in learning more can register with Plugless Power or call Bosch directly at 877 805-3873.

Bosch also offers various financing plans, according to Plug-In Cars, to make the installation more affordable.

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