Infiniti relies on wireless charging

2014 Infiniti EV to Debut Wireless Inductive Charging System

Nissan’s luxury arm, Infiniti, launches in 2014 its new EV model with inductive charging technology. It uses an electromagnetic field from a coil embedded in the ground to transfer charge to the battery pack of an EV. So electric car owners would simply park their cars over the charging area and return later to a fully charged vehicle.

Nissan says the charging system is 80-90 percent efficient depending on how well aligned the car is to the charging area. That’s about the same range, the automaker says, as a conventional (conductive) plug-in charger because of electrical losses between the plug on the car and the plug in the wall. Inductive charging would certainly leave homeowner’s garages free of cords. But the real benefit would come in the city.

Inductive charging could also solve problems that electric car sharing programs have today. In some cases, drivers borrowing EVs forget to plug them in for the next user; people just aren’t used to the whole plug-in thing yet. But with inductive charging, the borrowers wouldn’t need to plug in. They could simply park the cars in the correct return spots, and inductive coils embedded beneath would charge away.

The widespread adoption of inductive charging will begin with the standardization of these systems. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has a task force working to create a standard (SAE J2954) for wireless charging. SAE’s timeline shows that the SAE wireless charging standard is slated for completion by 2014.

More: popular mechanics