Imagine not having to bother with charging your plug-in hybrid or electric car once you’re home after a long day. What if you just park it and charging begins automatically? Apparently Toyota is working on having that become a reality. They’ve just announced that it will begin testing wireless battery charging later this month, with a future market launch in mind.
The wireless charging works by transmitting electricity using magnetic resonance created by changes in magnetic field intensity between a transmitting coil in the ground and a receiving coil in the car. The transmission works at a 85kHz frequency, with an input voltage of AC 200V. Charging power is 2kW, and charging is said to take approximately 90 minutes.
So all you have to do is park your car in alignment with a coil set into the ground surface. No cables or connectors required. To ensure easy alignment, Toyota’s Intelligent Parking Assist system will show the position of the transmitting coil in the parking space.
The testing will be done by actual users. The program involves three plug-in hybrids used by homes in Aichi prefecture in Japan. The test will assess user satisfaction, the system’s ease of use, misalignment rates and charging behaviour, such as how often charging takes place.