In today’s age of wireless technology, the plug-in electric vehicle is both revolutionary and kind of a throw-back to wired technologies of times past. Fear not — wireless charging for your gas-free vehicle is on the way. The Virginia company Evatran recently unveiled a wireless EV charger at this week’s Plug In conference in San Jose.
Called Plugless Power, it works like this: you get a tower, a parking block, and a small adapter that goes on the EV. When the car is parked over the block, magnetic coils in the block and adapter align. When the tower senses they’re positioned, it creates a strong magnetic field in the coils in the parking block, which induces an electrical current to flow in the adapter coils and charge the car battery.
There are just a few small problems: the induction process can attain maximum efficiency of just 80 percent — meaning that you’re paying an extra 20 percent to charge your car. And the Evatran hardware ain’t cheap, either. The first version, which will be available in April 2011, runs some $3,800, plus $500 or so for installation of the adapter. Luckily, you’ll be able to get $2,000 back in government incentives.