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Toyota to debut wireless charging for 2016 models

Technology to make EV charging more convenient may be in the automaker’s cars within a year.

WiTricity WiT-3300 EV charger. Photo by WiTricity.While automakers and cities are working to build more charging stations for electric cars, Toyota is trying to cut the cord altogether.

Toyota initially made an equity investment with wireless charging developer WiTricity in 2011. Other automakers, including Audi and Nissan, have also been working on similar schemes. Now, according to Automotive News, Toyota not only has licensed WiTricity technology, but also plans to include wireless charging components on 2016 model-year vehicles — a first in the industry and only about a year away.

This could mean that EV owners soon won’t have to worry about bulky cables and plugs, or even getting out of their cars to connect them in the dark or in inclement conditions.

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Like other wireless EV charging technologies, Toyota’s WiTricity system includes a charging pad that EVs park over to initiate a charge. It uses a 19.7-inch magnetic-resonance charging pad placed on or embedded in the ground and an 8-inch receiver mounted on the underside of the vehicle.

One of the advantages of magnetic resonance over traditional inductive charging for EV applications is that it doesn’t require exact alignment of the pad on the ground and a receiver on the vehicle. And the smaller size of the WiTricity onboard component allows for more flexible placement on the vehicle. CEO Eric Giler said that the company’s “wireless charging systems will be oriented toward residential use, but ultimately will go into parking garages, places of business and that sort of thing.”
More editorial.autos.msn.com

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