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Jordan Perch loves automotive innovation and that is his ultimate passion. He is managing the resourceful DMV.com and is an active contributor to numerous consumer and automotive blogs.

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Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

Posted December 13, 2013 5:00 PM by Jordan Perch

Apart from the higher purchase price, limited range and long charging times are the biggest issues that are preventing electric cars from becoming more popular and more widespread. The best electric cars today have a range of 80 - 100 miles per one charge, which does not help resolve the range anxiety issue. The Tesla Model S, which has a range of over 200 miles, is an exemption, but it is a luxury car, costing about $30,000 more than the average electric car, and not a lot of people can afford it. That's why several car manufacturers that build electric vehicles have been trying to come up with a solution to these problems and develop a technology that will help extend the range of this types of vehicles and reduce charging times, which would make them far more appealing to consumers.

Swedish car maker Volvo has managed to develop a prototype of a system that allows you to recharge your electric car without plugging it in. But, in addition to car makers, there are some engineering companies that are working on wireless charging technology, and WiTricity is one of them. The start-up, based in Watertown, Massachusetts, has partnered up with Toyota, and announced that it will supply the Japanese car maker with its wireless technology. Toyota has licensed WiTricity's technology and will start installing devices for capturing wireless power into vehicles that it plans to launch next year.

With WiTricity wireless charging, future Toyota owners will only have to put their car in the garage when it needs to be recharged. This system starts charging a car as soon as it enters a garage that is appropriately fitted with the technology. You won't have to align your car to a wireless charging pad installed in your garage's floor, which is basically what Volvo's system works like. This is a very convenient and effortless way of charging an electric vehicle, which is expected to make more people interested in such vehicles, considering that it takes at least 4 hours to fully recharge an average electric car.

If this system is really as efficient and practical as its developers say it is, it will give Toyota a serious competitive advantage over other electric car makers, which it could definitely use, with the wireless car charging market set to grow considerably over the next 5-6 years. The car maker started collaborating with WiTricity two years ago, when it invested several million dollars in this startup that develops wireless electricity technology.

In addition to Toyota, there are other car makers that have teamed up with WiTricity in efforts to make their electric vehicles more appealing. Audi plans to use the technology for its A1 e-tron, whereas Mitsubishi hopes that it will be able to make its i-MiEV more appealing through the collaboration with WiTricity. But, in the meantime, WiTricity will have to keep on trying to improve its technology, considering that it will face a fierce competition from similar companies, such as Evatran, which has teamed up with Nissan and General Motors.

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#1

Re: Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

12/13/2013 6:33 PM

A rotating magnetic field under a strip of copper attached to car....?

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#2

Re: Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

12/13/2013 11:43 PM

The "Inverse-Square Power Distance Law" is gonna make the system VERY inefficient!

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#3
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Re: Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

12/14/2013 12:37 PM

That's okay. The plan is to have someone else pay for it all.

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#5
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Re: Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

12/15/2013 8:36 PM

No, efficiency is still near unity. It is a transformer. Would be better if it was closer, then it would charge faster. So, basically the answer to your question is "no it won't."

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#4

Re: Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

12/14/2013 12:55 PM

How is it that so many are ignorant of what Musk and Tesla are doing today? I mean have all these folks been in hiding for the last five years? Electric cars have gone along way in that time. (pardon the pun)

The type S goes over 200 miles on a single charge!

Several countries already have charge on the fly systems in operation include Europe and S. Korea, and China. We are unbelievable behind and now I can see why. Our "intelligencia" are hopelessly behind the times. Hell they aren't even keeping up with current events as reported in the USA Today. Now that is sad.

Jees people get your facts straight!

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

12/16/2013 11:26 AM

How about some links or real data on charge on the fly systems in operation?

I'm very familiar with the WiTricity system as we were looking at this technology to recharge underwater vehicles that autonomously complete multiple sorties. The vehicles would still need to enter a docking station, but the requirements on vehicle alignment could be relaxed, and biofouling issues become less of a concern.

WiTricity with resonant coupled inductors reduces the need for intimate coupling of the magnetics like traditional systems, but the coils have tuning networks to optimize the coupling and part of that equation is the distance between the coils. Efficiency in the low nineties in air and in the eighties in seawater.

A system to wirelessly charge moving vehicles is, in my opinion, extremely impractical mainly due to the huge costs of the charging infrastructure.

I'd be happy if you could prove me wrong on this. Please give me some straight facts. This is your chance to shine.

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#7
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Re: Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

12/16/2013 11:53 AM

This ought to get you started BSR

http://gas2.org/2013/08/13/wireless-charging-powers-south-koreas-electric-buses/

http://www.techspot.com/news/53540-south-korean-city-launches-fleet-of-wirelessly-charged-buses.html

http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/green-tech/advanced-cars/korean-bus-charges-itself-while-driving

http://cervconference.org/program/agenda

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/08/12/635201/how-wireless-charging-could-speed-up-the-electric-car-market/

http://article.wn.com/view/2012/07/10/Japanese_Students_Unveil_Electric_Roadway_that_Wirelessly_Ch/#/related_news

http://www.andhrawishesh.com/business/sci-tech/30026-electric-vehicle-on-electrified-roadway.html

http://c-zero.info/cz/tag/wireless/

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#8
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Re: Future Toyota EVs To Be Charged Wirelessly

12/16/2013 11:55 AM

I'll take a look. Cheers

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