What could be easier than stopping your electric car over what looks like a manhole cover to recharge in the busy streets of New York City?
This may become the rule rather than the exception as HEVO Power gets the green light to study the idea and possibly implement it as early as next year.
HEVO Power is a small company that could get a big boost through its development of a manhole charging devise that runs on electromagnetic wireless charging technology.
The system proposed by HEVO provides 220V using induction and up to 10 KW of energy from the manhole charging pad to the vehicle. The vehicle needs to be already equipped with a receiver along the drive train to absorb the power.
Related article: GM Seeks to Burst Tesla’s Bubble
The charge consists of two coils. One coil is connected to the grid in the manhole cover, and the other to the electric vehicle. When the car runs over the manhole, the coils conduct a "handshake," and the manhole delivers a charge on that frequency to the car.
The company plans to open its first two HEVO9 (hybrid and electric vehicle optimization) charging stations early next year in lower Manhattan, servicing New York University’s fleet—so they won’t be for public use, yet.
HEVO owner Jeremy McCool likens the device’s functioning to that of a tuning fork, and says it provides a more efficient, powerful and safer way to charge an electric vehicle, though he admits the device has not yet been tested in the real world.
Though it doesn’t recommend lying on the charger for hours, the company says the device has a minimal EMI rating and is safe. The system also detects foreign metallic objects that may become heated, and lowers the power or interrupts charging.
One thing keeping back sales of electric vehicles is the charging, which is either hard to come by, or cumbersome when it is available. Wireless charging gets rid of the burden of running cords to your car in a crowded city space.
Related article: Shell Claims Global Liquid Fuel Demand will Peak in 2035
There is, of course, always a downside—and it’s a rather big one: It will take at least 10 hours atop a manhole to charge a car sufficiently enough to run 170 miles.
South Korea also recently began a pilot program for charging municipal buses directly from the road using similar wireless technology.
Fast-charging technologies are driving the growth of the electric vehicle charging market. The number of wireless charging stations established worldwide is expected to climb significantly from 2013 to 2020.
Also next year, Toyota plans to test a wireless charging Prius in Japan, Europe and the US.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com