Electric Vehicle Chargers

Nissan has plans for inductive charging of EVs

By on Dec 18, 2015 in Wireless Power |

CNET reports that Nissan is planning to offer inductive charging for the Nissan Leaf.

CNET Article on inductive charging from Nissan

Nissan has been experimenting with inductive charging – a way of transferring power without a physical conductor – for a number of years.  The earliest versions involved a circular module, nicknamed the ‘charging turtle’ because it looks a little like a turtle shell that is placed on the floor underneath the vehicle, and required the car be positioned directly over the charging turtle to transfer power.  Nissan even developed an automatic parking technology to position the car for maximum charging efficiency.

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It appears that the technology is improving and may be able to be placed in a bumper for recharging at your favorite restaurant or hotel.  Long term, the technology could be implanted in the roadways, allowing vehicles to charge on the move and reducing the size of battery that an EV would require.

What’s changed?  Advances made earlier this century in using strongly coupled inductive resonance for power transfer has increased the distance that power can be transferred with high enough efficiencies to make it worthwhile.  Inductive resonance is similar to how a tuning fork will sound with the same pitch if the note it is tuned for is played on a nearby instrument.  When an AC current is passed through a coil at a certain frequency, a coil, or even a series of coils, tuned to the same frequency that is nearby – as far as several feet – will pick up a current that can be used to power a motor or recharge a battery.

Nissan’s efforts may be another means of eliminating EV range anxiety and bringing about the obsolescence of the gas burning vehicle.  That’s good for everyone’s health and to reduce global warming.