There has been a lot of talk recently about new inductive battery charging methods that could do away with wires and plugs, and Toyota is taking a step forward with its wireless charging system for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. Toyota is currently testing this system with the ultimate goal of bringing it to market in the near future.
This Toyota system uses a special electromagnetic coil set into the ground that is able to transmit electricity through magnetic resonance. This means that magnetic fluctuation between the transmitting coil in the ground and the receiving coil in the car is able to transmit electricity to the car’s battery pack to charge it. The coil operates on an 85kHz frequency and requires a 200V AC input. This makes for charging power of 2 kilowatts, and Toyota says that the system is able to fully charge a battery pack in 90 minutes.
The system is currently being tested in three Japanese homes using Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrids. Toyota has come up with numerous solutions to solve potential problems, such as a special design that minimizes electromagnetic interference from other electrical equipment nearby, and a robust coil structure that can withstand a vehicle’s weight. There is even a special feature integrated into the park assist system that helps the driver align with the coil in a parking space.
Once this testing phase is complete, Toyota says it will use test results to develop the system further. Stay tuned for more news about this technology as it gets closer and closer to market, as other manufacturers like Volvo, Nissan, and automotive supplier Delphi are also testing similar systems for electric vehicles.