Let’s face it: going wireless is cool. The humble phone lost its stuffy image when it lost that annoying cable, wireless computing has transformed access to the Internet and unlocking your car with keyless entry beats stumbling around in the dark for the key hole any day.
So when software and Internet search king Google was approached by a company offering to unplug its electric car fleet from their charging stations it had to say yes.
Installed as part of a test project at Google’s Mountain-view headquarters, the inductive charging system developed by Evatran promises to allow electric cars to charge while they are parked in specially adapted parking bays.
Charging is initiated automatically and unlike the existing cabled solutions, requires no further input from the driver after parking the car.
Although Google’s own electric car fleet includes a wide range of electric and plug in hybrid vehicles the Evatran system will initially be used with its fleet of low-speed electric vehicles used for short-range travel around its campus.
Google funding development of plug-in hybrids
Eventually it is hoped the system could be used in some of Google’s larger plug in vehicles, such as the Plug-in Prius fleet Google invested in as part of its RechargeIt program.
When we first heard about Evatran’s Plugless Power system last year we were a little skeptical: in the past wireless charging under a vehicle came with major energy losses. But in the intervening time we’ve seen time and time again that the technology is rapidly becoming a holy grail of electric car charging.
And it appears just like wireless Internet and cellphones, every generation of wireless induction technology is improving on the generation before it.
So much so that Rolls-Royce’s first all electric car, the ultra-luxurious 102 EX Phantom Experimental Electric will include wireless inductive under car charging as standard.
Will we see Evatran charging pads around parking lots and maybe at stoplights in years to come? At the moment it’s hard to tell. But with Google’s involvement we think it will only be a matter of time before we see wireless inductive charging creep into the public garages and parking lots of Silicon Valley.
[Evatran] [Google] via [Gigaom]