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Toyota Developing Wireless Charging System

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/13/2014 Christian Seabaugh

Toyota wants to make the process of recharging an electric car as quick and painless as possible by taking the "plug" out of plug-in car. Toyota announced this morning that it's developing a new wireless battery charging system with an eye on production, that'll use ground-mounted electromagnets to re-charge an electric car or plug-in hybrid's battery in as little as 90 minutes.

Like the wireless battery recharging systems that Nissan and Volvo are developing (among others), Toyota's wireless (or inductive) charging system works using magnets. A ground-mounted electromagnetic coil transmits energy through a magnetic field that is then picked up by a receiving coil in the car parked above the charging system. That current is then used to charge the car's battery. 2014 Toyota Prius© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Toyota Prius

Toyota currently has a fleet of three Prius Plug-Ins that it's using to develop its wireless recharging system in Japan. In addition to the receiver coil, the Prius Plug-Ins are modified with a special version of Intelligent Park Assist, that shows the position of the transmitting coil in the parking space, allowing the driver to properly line up the two magnetic coils.

Toyota says it's developing its inductive charging system with production in mind. The charging coils have been developed to reduce electromagnetic interference with the surrounding environment, and with the capability to withstand abuse from being parked on and driven over.

Wireless charging is just one answer to the electric car question. In addition to an inductive charging system of its own, Nissan is also currently working on plug-in fast chargers. Tesla, which already has cross-country fast-charging infrastructure, is currently working on installing battery swap stations around the country.

Source: Toyota

2014 Toyota RAV4 EV© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV Toyota Prius Plug in Wireless Charging© Provided by MotorTrend Toyota Prius Plug in Wireless Charging

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