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Wireless car charging is coming

“We landed a big fish, about as big as it gets,” said Eric Giler, the CEO of wireless EV charging company WiTricity. Actually two big fish, because in addition to Toyota _ whose licensing of the company’s magnetic resonance technology was announced Dec. 5 _ the company is also the little-known wireless provider for the Infiniti version of the LEAF, known as the LE.

Imagine driving your car into the garage, and having it instantly start “refueling,” without your having to do a thing. Now consider the possibility of, instead of plugging in your smart phone to recharge it, simply dropping it on a pad and have the process start. That’s the promise of wireless charging, which is finally getting commercialized. WiTricity has also worked with Apple, so maybe that will result in some cool charging applications for the company’s devices.

According to Giler, who points to an account in Charged magazine, Toyota will begin working on installing WiTricity wireless charging into its cars next year. WiTricity’s approach is different from standard inductive charging _ magnetic resonance, Giler explained. Its biggest advantage is not needing precise alignment between the transmitter on the ground and the receiver on the car. That’s a big advantage for carmakers, who have been exploring various electronic aids to ensure that fallible drivers can line up closely with the pads.

“If you can park without hitting the garage doors, you’re going to get a charge with our system,” Giler said. “Basically, if you can get the car into the garage at all, it will make a connection. You have a lot of flexibility, both in the sideways direction and also vertically.”

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