Recharging your plug-in hybrid with ‘wireless battery charger’
Toyota have announced that they will be begin verification testing of a new wireless battery charging system it has developed for vehicles that use an elective powertain. If successful this means that recharging a Toyota plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle could be as simple as parking the car.
No cables or connectors would be needed as this new technology allows a vehicle to be charged by parking it in alignment with a coil set into the surface of the ground. The Toyota charging system transmits electricity using magnetic resonance created by changes in magnetic field intensity between a transmitting coil in the ground and a receiving coil in the car. It is designed so that it can reduce any loss in power transmission efficiency caused by misalignment or height differences between the coils. Measures have been taken to minimise any electromagnetic interference with nearby equipment, and the transmitting coil in the ground has been made robust enough to withstand vehicles driving over it.
Intelligent Parking Assist System
To make charging even easier and to help the driver align the car correctly, Toyota has developed a function for its Intelligent Parking Assist system that shows the position of the transmitting coil in a parking space.
The test programme which takes place next month involves three plug-in hybrid used by homes in Aichi prefecture in Japan. It will assess user satisfaction, the system’s ease of use, misalignment rates and charging behaviour, such as how often charging takes place and timer-based charging it used. Toyota will use the test results to develop the technology further, with the ultimate aim of bringing the system to market. Toyota believes its commercialisation will help promote the use of electrified vehicles and mobility options that are smarter, easier to use and kinder to the environment.
Toyota are celebrating reaching 6.072 million units sold and the latest million milestone has been reached in the fastest time yet, only nine months since the figure moved past five million. Toyota now sell twenty four hybrid passenger cars and one plug-in hybrid in approximately eighty countries and regions around the world. In the UK the range extends to ten Toyota and Lexus hybrids plus the popular Prius Plug-in and within two years Toyota say they will launch fifteen new hybrids. If the new wireless battery system is launched then who knows how popular the plug-in hybrid will beoome.