An electric car with a wireless charging system could be on the road in three years, a Japanese company developing the system said.
The wireless charging system uses a magnetic resonance system to boost a car’s battery remotely. Its developers say it can transmit 3 -kilowatts or more of electricity to receiving equipment at a distance of 20 centimeters with more than 90 percent efficiency.
It was developed by WiTricity Corp., a U.S. venture founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers in 2007. In late March, the Japanese company IHI Corp., a maker of heavy equipment, signed a deal to manufacture and market the system.
IHI has been conducting experiments at its Yokohama branch and plans to commercialize the devices first as an option for Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s i-MiEV model in 2015.
If wireless charging is perfected, it could open a range of new possibilities for electric vehicles. For instance, it would theoretically be possible to recharge a car as it waited for traffic lights to change. A car could also automatically recharge after being parked at home, the company said.
IHI is also working with Mitsui Home Co. to develop a wireless charging system for use in homes which it says could sell for about 10 percent of the cost of a car.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. are also developing wireless charging equipment for commercial use, and Hino Motors Ltd. is experimenting with similar technology in a hybrid diesel-electric bus project.
German and British firms are also active in the field.
(This story was written by Kazuyuki Kanai and Kaname Kakuta.)
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