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Coming Soon: Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging

plug-free charger

Looks like we released our electric vehicle charger slideshow just a little bit too soon. Autobloggreen reports that a wireless charge station may be released sometime in the next few years courtesy of Evatran, a mysterious startup with the tagline "Energy without limits."

Evatran's Plugless Power charging station, unveiled this week at the Plug-In 2010 Conference, consists of a a permanently mounted car adapter along with a fixed parking block and control tower. An adopter-equipped vehicle need only pull up to the parking space, and the parking block automatically begins charging. Evatran explains the technology behind the station:

Plugless Power electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) connects the on-board EV battery charger inductively to the electrical power source. Simply put, the two halves of the electric transformer are separated—one installed on the vehicle and one installed on the floor of a garage or parking space. When the two pieces are brought together, electrical current flowing in the parking block from the electrical grid causes current to flow into the vehicle adapter, thereby charging the battery. With the Plugless Power dual-component EVSE, current flows from one source to another without using a plug and a cord, enabling "hands-free" charging.


It all sounds plausible enough, but the technology isn't quite ready for prime time yet. The first version of Evatran's charger, set to be released this December, uses a cord. Evatran hopes to have a wireless version ready in April 2011, at which point customers who have shelled out the $3,000 for the cord charger can upgrade for another $800.

There's just one problem: the Plugless Power station doesn't always work. According to Evatran, the charger will be about 90% effective, which means that the other 10% of energy released is wasted. Still, it's a start. And just imagine how much easier EV charging will be when we don't have to think about it.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.