Lately I’ve been seeing commercials for these so-called “power pads” that wirelessly charge cellphones. “Wouldn’t it be cool if they had something like that for electric cars,” thought I. Turns out New Zealand has just such a device.
The power pads can transfer power through asphalt, snow, and are supposed to be resistant to weather and vandalism. At $2,000 a pop, they are similar to plug-in chargers in cost, but are less obvious. The initial pilot program will see these installed in homes. What sets these apart from wired chargers though is that they could one day charge electric cars on-the-go. HalopIPT wants to do just that on portions of Britain’s M25 highway.
Imagine infinite mileage on designated “e-ways” that have a sucession of power pads installed, wirelessly trasnfering electricity to your car. No fuel-powered engine could ever do this, but according to Halo IPT, this technology exists today. Some kind of cost structure will be to be built in, but the ability to charge-as-you-go could erase the argument that electric vehicles have limited range.
Even just installed in a parking lot or garage, these pads will charge an EV in about 6 hours from 20% capacity. That’s not bad. By as early as 2020 they envision e-ways being installed into highways, possibly M25. Sounds a bit ambitious to me, but I have no reason to believe this isn’t someday possible. Chalk another one up for electric cars.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.