Toyota takes on wireless chargingDecember 11, 2013
Electric vehicles may benefit from wireless charging technology
Japanese automaker Toyota may be expressing strong interest in hydrogen fuel cells, but the company is also keen to continue its support of battery electric vehicles. The automaker has announced that it has acquired rights for wireless charging technology developed by Witricity. By acquiring the rights to this technology, Toyota’s plug-in electric vehicles, as well as its hybrid vehicles, will be able to adopt wireless charging capabilities, removing the need to plug these vehicles into an outlet.
Charging proves problematic for consumers
Wireless charging has become a relatively popular topic in the field of clean transportation. Electric vehicles have proven quite popular among consumers, but having to charge these vehicles is often seen as inconvenient. The ability to charge a vehicle without having it be tethered to a static structure, such as a charging station or a home, could make electric vehicles somewhat more attractive to consumers that have convenience in mind.
Technology could help with the infrastructure problem
The wireless charging technology developed by Witricity involves the use of pads that can be installed in parking spaces and other open areas. These pads are connected to outlets that provide them with the electricity that they will transmit to vehicles. The pads are durable and can be placed in any area that has a reliable connection to an existing energy grid.
Lack of infrastructure may hinder electric vehicle sales
Charging stations are still quite rare when it comes to electric vehicles. The lack of an infrastructure has not gone unnoticed by consumers, of course, many of whom have expressed their disinterest in these vehicles because of how difficult it is to charge them. Wireless charging technology may not be able to solve all of the problems associated with the lack of a comprehensive infrastructure, but it may help placate consumers’ concerns and get them more interested in clean vehicles.