Buying an electric vehicle is more than just a decision about what you’ll drive. It also requires the installation of a home charging system. Early adopters who spent $3,000 or more on corded EV charging stations in their garage might be kicking themselves right about now, since much cooler wireless options are already in the works.

Evatran, makers of the Plugless Power EV charging system, recently announced the addition of two big ticket testers for their prototype device. Google and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) recently joined Evatran’s Apollo Program, the first program to test and demonstrate wireless EV charging capability for passenger vehicles. So far, it looks to be a success.


Unsure about how it’s possible to charge an entire car without a cord? Think about your other wireless electronics. Cordless devices (think home phones and electric toothbrushes) use inductive power transfer to transmit power without a cord. The Plugless Power system works in a similar way: A parking pad is installed on the floor of your garage (or in a parking spot) so it’s automatically underneath your EV when you park. Magnetic fields transfer energy from the transmitting coil in the parking pad and convert it into an electrical current by the receiving coil in the vehicle adapter. When your car is fully charged, the system turns off. And if you need to leave before charging is complete, simply back up and the charging stops.

There’s no need to worry about electrical waves burning your brain every time you enter the garage, since only the compatible coils can make this energy transfer possible — ensuring total safety for anything that comes into contact with the system.

The main purpose of the Apollo Program is to get real-world feedback on the wireless charging system from a variety of commercial clients. Besides the LADWP and Google, which recently added on to its initial first-gen installation, testing partners include the Hertz Corporation, Duke Energy and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville, S.C. So far, the system has only been trialed in the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt, but Evatran says retrofits for other electric vehicle makes and models are coming soon.

“We’ve received invaluable and candid feedback from our partners, and armed with that feedback, we have now set our sights on releasing an upgraded and refined production product as early as January 2013,” said Rebecca Hough, Evatran’s Chief Operating Officer. The company is now accepting partners for the second phase of the Apollo Program set to launch in the next four months.

Photo credits: Plugless Power