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?