Wireless charging, while not truly wireless in some respects, has emerged for a variety of consumer products thanks to companies such as Powermat. Unfortunately, there selection of goods is limited to handheld items, which makes logical sense since these tend to be the products that are often used and thus charged with great regularity. But today there is a new emerging category of battery powered products. What are they you ask? Cars.
That’s right. In the last few years we’ve seen the emergence of a number of battery powered, electric vehicles. Unlike their hybrid counterparts, which use a gas engine to recharge their batteries, they depend on the grid to power up and this means plugging in. Unless of course you invest in one of Evatran’s Plugless Power.
It’s effectively, from what we can tell, the same tech as Powermat, though on a much larger scale. According to Autoblog the effeciency is above 90%, which means some power is lost in the transfer, but the pay off is the convenience. To charge your whip, if you will, you just drive the car over the disc that is placed on the ground. This iteration, which is the next evolution in terms of the product, doesn’t sport any moving parts, which means it’s less likely to break, and the car can now be a half a disc off and will still charge.
Evatran is currently entering the test phase and hopes to outfit 8-12 Chevy volts with the necessary receivers by the end of the year, with 20-30 more arriving as soon as January. Production units should hit some time in late 2012. We’re hearing each one will cost between $2,000-3,000, and that doesn’t include the $2,000 surcharge for retrofitting your vehicle.
While this tech is cool and all, what would be really neat is if you didn’t need to be in such close proximity for it to work. As Autoblog points out, you could ostensibly drive the street while receiving a charge, provided of course there enough of them embedded into the road.