Plug-in chargers scattered around the place to use for filling up on long trips are part of what’s needed to make electric cars go mainstream, but many people argue that the technology really needed is cheap, easy wireless charging for your home. Just park the car and it recharges by itself; no pluggin-in needed. There’s a big pice about it in Vox today:
One automaker has done an internal survey of its plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) owners and discovered that 70 percent of them never plug in. They use the vehicles as ordinary hybrids, sacrificing an enormous amount of fuel economy (which they paid extra for!) just because nightly plugging is a hassle.
The article says that a new technology, magnetic resonance, can greatly speed up non-contact charging over inductive coupling. “(In) magnetic resonance, inthe transmitter and receiver are “strongly coupled,” tuned to the same frequency, which allows the magnetic field to be directed, increasing the distance it can travel and the end-to-end efficiency of the process.” This means you don’t have to park your car quite so precisely over the charging pad to make it work, and it greatly increases the efficiency of the process.
A couple firms are bringing magnetic resonance charging to the marketplace, and EV fans are hoping that it will help goose the market.