Kevin Bullis

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Dedicated Charging Lanes for Electric Vehicles

Nissan says wireless charging could make it easier to keep EVs topped off.

  • July 22, 2009

Most potential owners of electric vehicles (EVs) worry about the convenience of charging, so Nissan is developing ways to charge EVs without plugging them in, the Guardian reports.

The idea is to make special charging bays that use the same inductive-charging mechanisms used to charge electric toothbrushes or the new Palm Pre phone. Drivers won’t have to remember to plug the car in when they get out. Eventually, a series of these chargers embedded in roadways could charge cars as they drive along, according to the article. But though that may be technically feasible, it would waste energy because it’s less efficient than plugging in a car. It’s also not clear that it would be worth the cost.

Inductive charging works only at very close range (with the Pre, the phone is in physical contact with the charger). Researchers at MIT are developing wireless charging that works at the range of a couple of meters. You could charge up a phone merely by being in the same room as the charger.

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