Thursday, July 23, 2009

Recharge Your Nissan EV Via Wireless Recharger

Nissan wants to leapfrog its competitors and gun for EVs that can be recharged without a cord. Good, bad?
Nissan wants to follow the route of the electric toothbrush – that is, invent a way for us to charge EVs (or their EVs, at least), using a wireless charger. Electric toothbrush batteries are refueled by inducing a charge without actually making contact between battery and electricity source.

So, too, Nissan hopes that one day we can park electric cars over a scaled-up version of the same charger, and refuel them without lifting a finger.However, there’s a reason that we only use induction chargers for the occasional piece of technology such as the toothbrush, and don’t use them for most mobile electronic devices (ok, with the exception of the Palm Pre): they take longer to charge, and they are more expensive and complex than a simple wire plug.

Obviously, though, Nissan’s engineers know all that. And Nissan is certainly going to be sticking to conventional plugs for now – they are unveiling their 2012 model EV on August 2, and although they claim that it was designed to be compatible with future induction technology, it will be charged by a regular plug. And Nissan’s partner Renault is busy designing cars to work with Better Place’s system, which most certainly involves a physical cord.
In fact, Nissan’s vision goes beyond just parking spots. Nissan sees an even wider system of wireless charging, built into the very roads that we drive on, so that we can refuel as we drive. Sound farfetched and inefficient? Perhaps, but what if you got stuck in a traffic jam, and your battery began to dwindle? Would you pay a little extra to be able to charge on the go in those situations?
- Brewskie


  1. I doubt that I would pay extra to charge as I go when in traffic jams. I would expect my electric car to use significantly less energy than a gas engine in this case because you use only as much energy as needed to move - no engine idling.

    If it is safer or more convenient or somehow more efficient to use an induction charger when parked, I would consider it.

  2. This is effing amazing. I still say, the question is not when we run out of oil, but when OPEC runs out of customers....B Cole

  3. Ben,

    I didn't notice your biofuel comment earlier. It's possible some future-generation biofuels will hold promise, but like any grand arena filled with speculative research - take WWII weapons research, for instance - there's always going to a monumental amount of promise, a lot of busts, and some players gaming a dime off of it. Jatropha, of course, was never feasible because IT IS water hog, and just because it “grows” in marginal climates, it doesn’t thrive.

    Regular readers of this blog will undoubtedly pick this up: I, of course, have a fair amount of faith in the long-term impact of algae biofuel. There's still some technical hurdles and some critics, such as Robert Rapier, have voiced good and reasonable skeptics of the matter; but the payoff for the grand slam breakthrough is so great, it seems inventible somebody will pull it off - even though it's probably a decade away.

    I may ultimately be proven wrong on this: it may be technically infeasible for several decades, or a breakthrough in oil extraction technology may drive a stake through algae's heart. Still, though... George P. Mitchell was a crazy bastard during the '80s.

    Regardless, the future looks great.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments, regardless of what happens on algae. Hey, I hope algae hits.
    In any event, man is a creative creature, and thank goodness we have productive engineers, investors etc willing to tackle problems, not sit on the sidelines whining (for example, TOD).
    The seemingly daily epic natural gas strikes sem to suggest we have options galore in front of us. B Cole