Cordless Charging at Google a New Idea? (hint: NO)

Google has installed wireless charging for EVs, Plugless Power from Evatran.  Cool.

Think this is new stuff?  Think again.  Inductive charging has been around for a while, (my toothbrush has it), but the real irony is that GM had it for the EV1, using a paddle affair that stuck into a slot.  Check out this story on HowStuffWorks.  Now, they didn’t take it to the place Evatran did- that is, to a drive-in proximity charging station you don’t have to touch, but still.  In 2002 they dropped the project…  telling me that it really must be a great idea.  If GM dropped it.  Get it?  (…laughing to keep from crying.)

Here’s a nice little video showing how the (new) system works.

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4 responses to “Cordless Charging at Google a New Idea? (hint: NO)

  1. A thought struck me as I read this, what about an induction loop in the kickstand and a mat to park the bike on? I, like (I assume) many people park my bike in a pretty much exactly the same spot every day. A sealed, waterproof mat where my kickstand sits would be perfect.

  2. Induction charging is highly inefficient. Compared to plug charging the losses in the process are 30-50%. That’s why GM has abandoned the technology. And that’s why BMW, Audi, Nissan etc. all use plugs for efficient transfer. Also: charging rates are determined in Ampere – not KWH.

  3. The efficiency of inductive charging decreases with distance between the charger and vehicle. GM used a paddle charger that was very efficient because there was only a few mm between the paddle and the vehicle coils. Charging from 10 inches or 6 ft away will be much worse. Although several research teams claim they’ve achieved over 90% efficiency charging-at-a-distance. For example:

    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/february/wireless-vehicle-charge-020112.html

    GM’s system was very safe since there were no exposed contacts. It was also pretty slick (I have a MagnaCharger in my garage.) They gave it up because the standards adopted especially in CA used conductive chargers. The companies that are now getting into the EV game are just adopting the new standards – there’s nothing inherently wrong with inductive charging if done right.

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