Duke Energy, Clemson-ICAR, Google, Hertz, the State of Virginia
Evatran says it will have installed half a dozen of its Plugless Power brand wireless inductive electric vehicle charging units with major partners by July’s end.
The Wytheville, Va.-based firm is promoting retrofits allowing wireless EV charging at costs it says are comparable to Level II conductive units. OEM conductive charge receptacles remain fully functional.
Hertz, Duke Energy, Clemson University, Google, and the State of Virginia are among the organizations evaluating the Evatran technology on Nissan Leaf and GM Chevy Volt EVs (the sixth partner is to be named when the six installations are complete).
Evatran calls it The Apollo Launch Program.
Nissan Leaf sedans operated by Clemson, Duke and Hertz “represent the first passenger electric vehicles in the world with full wireless charging capability,” Evatran says.
Drivers at the three installation locations have been evaluating the Evatran-converted vehicles since installations began in early June.
“Our goal in launching this one-of-a-kind initiative was two-fold,” Evatran CEO Tom Hough said in a release. “We wanted to get this game-changing technology into the hands of real electric vehicle drivers and we wanted to show the market that convenient, wireless charging technology can encourage electric vehicle adoption on a large scale.”
Plugless Power employs electromagnetic induction, enhanced with proprietary control software and coil designs to extend the efficient transfer of power over an air gap of as much as seven inches. Evatran says it “leads the industry in providing a low-cost system with robust alignment tolerance at a fraction of the on-board weight as competitors.”
The Apollo prototypes “require absolutely zero user interaction, charge the vehicles as quickly as traditional corded chargers, and function at over 90% efficiency.”
“We’re already learning how users interact with the system, the confidence it gives them in recharging their electric vehicles, and what we need to update for our production aftermarket systems,” said Evatran CTO Brian Normann. “Our partners, through their daily use of the system, are supplying us with invaluable feedback to utilize as we update our design and make it available to electric vehicle drivers across the country.”
Evatran is offering free electricity to initial customers.
The firm last year disclosed a partnership with Yazaki to develop the wireless EV charging technology (F&F, June 13, 2011). In December it signed a deal with Sears Home Services to support the installation of Plugless Power systems nationwide. Evatran is also working with Green Gears in San Francisco.
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