Evatran unveils wireless charging solution for electric vehicles
By Paul Ridden
August 1, 2010
Evatran has unveiled its Plugless Power induction charging solution for electric vehicles. Instead of having to worry about bothersome cables and plug/power compatibility, EV owners using the system will just need to pull up in front of a control tower and the charging process will kick in automatically. And you needn't concern yourself with perfect parking either, the floor-mounted current delivery block is said to take care of all the alignment issues.
Formed by Virginian-based MTC Transformers in 2009, Evatran is looking to provide convenient, universal, and reliable charging solutions for electric vehicles. With its Plugless Power electric vehicle supply equipment, the company is aiming to make EV charging a fairly simple affair. The system consists of two main parts, one fitted to the vehicle and the other on the ground in front of a control tower.
First off, owners will need to get a specially designed adapter fitted and linked up to the car's onboard battery charger. After this, when the car pulls up in front of a Plugless Power control tower the floor-mounted parking block automatically detects and aligns itself to the adapter in the car. The system then uses magnetic induction to bridge the small gap and start charging the battery.
To call it wireless charging is perhaps misleading, it is in fact proximity induction charging where the two parts of the charging system need to get close enough for a charge to flow over a small air space between them.
Evatran's current system does lose some energy during transfer (around 20 per cent) but by the time the system is launched, the company anticipates that it can get its enhanced solution operating at 90 per cent efficiency or more. Still short of perfect but the company says that this won't necessarily lead to increased charging times as "the charger will draw additional watts from the electrical outlet to compensate for the small efficiency loss."
The Plugless Power system has been undergoing field trials and testing during the year and Evatran is aiming to have the first production-ready, plug-free units available by early 2011. The final cost to electric vehicle owners has yet to be announced.
It's not the first time magnetic induction has been used to power an electric vehicle but Evatran's solution could well see it's U.S. manufactured electric vehicle supply equipment popping up all over the country.