Vehicle Research

Clemson University Tests Wireless Vehicle Charging System

July 18, 2012

A Nissan LEAF electric vehicle equipped with a Plugless Power wireless charging vehicle adapter. (PRNewsFoto/Evatran)


 
A Nissan LEAF electric vehicle equipped with a Plugless Power wireless charging vehicle adapter. (PRNewsFoto/Evatran)

CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), the Hertz Corporation, and Duke Energy have completed the first installations of Evatran’s Plugless Power wireless electric vehicle (EV) charging technology. These installations, on Nissan LEAF vehicles, represent the first passenger electric vehicles in the world with full wireless charging capability, according to a release from Evatran.

Installations began in early June, and testing will continue throughout the next three months. An additional three installations will be completed in July. CU-ICAR students and facility will be test driving the vehicle and researching potential future applications for the wireless technology. The system is installed in Greenville, S.C.

The Apollo Launch Program, which kicked off in early 2012, follows six partners as they trial wireless charging technology installed on their own Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF vehicles, in a variety of real-world applications. The goal of the project is to show that convenient, wireless charging technology can encourage EV adoption on a large scale, according to Tom Hough, Evatran’s CEO.

The Plugless Power technology is based on electromagnetic induction. This technology was enhanced by Evatran engineers with proprietary control software and coil designs in order to extend the efficient transfer of power over an air gap of as much as seven inches. The prototypes installed with Apollo Program partners require absolutely zero user interaction, charge the vehicles as quickly as traditional corded chargers, and function at over 90% efficiency, according to the release.

The results of the program will be compiled in a case study to be released at the end of the summer, the release stated.

The University of Utah recently purchased a BYD electric transit bus with a wireless charging pad.

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