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Wireless Vehicle Charging System Launches In London

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On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 9:49AM | By: Chris Weiss

Wireless Vehicle Charging System Launches In London

Last week, we took a look at a new partnership that is working toward a wireless charging system for plug-in hybrids and EVs. At the time, we mentioned it's not the only system of its kind out there; not a full week later, a new system has launched in London. Designed by New Zealand-based start-up HaloIPT, the system, which is hailed as the world's first wireless charging system for vehicles, is even more intriguing than other systems in that it can provide for charging when parked and when in motion.

The new charging system called the Induction Power Transfer (IPT) features a charging module designed to be mounted into parking spots or roadways and a receiving module to be mounted on the underside of plug-in vehicles. It is designed to work with the gamut of vehicles--anything from large trucks to urban commuters. It provides magnetic induction charging for distances up to 40 centimeters, making it ample for the ground clearance of most electric vehicles. It offers comparable performance to a hard-wired charging system.

A future goal of HaloIPT is to build the systems into roadways so that cars can actually charge on the move. This is a very interesting aspect of the system, as all similar systems that I've seen have always been discussed in terms of parked charging. Being able to charge while you drive would be a huge advantage, though I don't know how efficient it would be. Perhaps the greatest barrier that electric vehicles face toward mass market adoption is the fear of running out of battery power. So if that power is built right into the roads themselves in some type of viable manner, it would be a major step toward easing range anxiety. The IPT is designed to work through rainstorms and snow, provide an unwavering form of charging in variable conditions.

HaloIPT’s CEO, Anthony Thomson said of the potential for the system: "We’re using IPT to break down the barriers to mass-market adoption of electric cars. Keeping electric vehicle costs down is a key priority for us."

Like the system we covered earlier this week, the IPT makes use of the connection between magnetism and electricity to transfer power through magnetic fields without the need for a hard connection between the charging module and vehicle.

The first car featuring an IPT receiver will be on display in London through next month. It's not yet clear if or what auto manufacturing or public partners will work with HaloIPT in deploying the system, though the company does mention having some government and automaker partners on its website.


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