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Could Wireless Charging Mats Cut the Cord for Electric Cars?

In an effort to open the market for electric vehicles (EVs), scientists, car manufacturers and entrepreneurs are all looking for ways to remove the barriers, which mostly revolve around the range a car gets before having to be charged and how long it takes to charge.

Scientists at Stanford University have found a way to tweak lithium batteries, which could extend the range of an EV to 300 miles on a charge, the same as a conventional car.

Solar Roadways is another example, an electrified road that allows electric vehicles to recharge anywhere such as rest stops or parking lots, giving them the same range as a conventonal vehicle.

Automakers are working to “cut the cord” by developing a mat that a car sits on to wirelessly replenish the battery. The matt would be plugged in but the car isn’t – coils on the underside of the car would engage the charger when the car parks on the mat. Automakers and suppliers expect to have the chargers ready for sale around 2015, reports Bloomberg.

“The feedback we see from initial Volt and Leaf buyers is that, ‘Gee, these cords get really dirty; gee, these cords get all tangled; what a pain in the neck,'” Phil Gott, an IHS Automotive analyst specializing in power-train research told Bloomberg. “A wireless charger truly gives you total freedom.”

Nissan, Volkswagen, Audi, Toyota and Mitsubishi are among about a dozen companies developing wireless chargers.


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