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Europe: Daimler Tests Cordless Electric Vehicle Chargers

The inductive chargers could make charging more convenient.

Kevin Bullis 12/06/2011

Having a few electric vehicle charging stations here and there isn’t a big deal. But if they ever become common in cities, they’ll be an eyesore, with their long, tangled black cords clumped onto their sides or sprawling across parking spaces to the outlet on the side of a car. Charging stations could also be a tempting target for vandals.

A much more elegant solution would be to bury inductive chargers under parking spots, a concept that Daimler has started testing. The chargers could be invisible and protected from vandals. And they could make charging easier—just pull into a parking spot, and the car can start charging.

Daimler, along with Conductix-Wampfler, a company based in Germany, has only recently started testing cars equipped with the inductive charging coils. But the initial results look positive.

The system is 90 percent efficient, which isn’t as good as charging with a cable, but is better than some other inductive charging systems. The companies say that when you count efficiency losses within the car, the system is almost as good as plugging in


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