Wireless electric-car charging: perfect for automated parking?


Wireless electric-car charging seems to offer a somewhat more convenient experience.

Instead of plugging in a charge cord, drivers simply park their electric cars over a pad, usually on the floor of a garage.

But what if they didn't even have to do that?

DON'T MISS: Plugless charging for 80 percent of electric cars by end of 2017: Evatran

Evatran has previously said its Plugless wireless-charging system will soon be compatible with 80 percent of the electric cars on North American roads by the end of 2017.

It also suggests that wireless charging is the perfect complement to automated parking.

The company now has an agreement to install wireless-charging hardware at 500 Walnut, a 26-story luxury apartment building in Philadelphia.

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

This will make 500 Walnut the first residence where drivers can charge electric cars "with no cords, no plugs, or any work on the user's part," according to building owner Scannapieco Development Corporation.

Rather than parking cars themselves, residents drive into an "interior courtyard," and stop their vehicles atop a platform inside a "parking room."

After getting out of the car, they swipe a fob that signals the system to lower the car into the garage, where it is automatically parked without any human intervention.

ALSO SEE: Mercedes-Benz S550e wireless charging comes into focus

As an electric car arrives in its parking space, the Plugless system will automatically recognize it and begin charging, according to Evatran.

Like most currently-available wireless-charging systems, Plugless consists of a base plate that sits on the garage floor, and a receiver mounted on the underside of the vehicle.

Residents of 500 Walnut wishing to use the system must have the receiver installed on their electric car by an Evatran-certified dealer or shop, explained Ned Freeman, Evatran vice president of marketing, strategy, and sales.

2017 Chevrolet Volt

2017 Chevrolet Volt

Enlarge Photo

That installation is fully reversible, allowing the hardware to be removed from, say, a leased vehicle that will need to be returned.

The cost is included in the price of the Plugless system, Freeman noted.

Evatran launched the Plugless system earlier this year, but only in a limited release for certain versions of the Tesla Model S.

MORE: Wireless charging guidelines issued by SAE standards group

It now offers two specifications: a 7.2-kilowatt version for the Model S, and a 3.6-kW version for the second-generation Chevrolet Volt.

Evatran hopes to offer a system compatible with the Tesla Model X as well, and the Model 3, when that car enters production.

A third, 6.6-kW version of the Plugless will cover electric cars from other manufacturers, potentially including the Nissan Leaf.

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