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Mitsubishi Motors Joins WiTricity and ITI to Create Wireless EV Charging Systems

Mitsubishi Motors, maker of the electric vehicle, iMIEV, has partnered with two companies, WiTricity and a Japanese supplier of public infrastructure, IHI to research and develop an wireless charging system that will be readily compatible with electric grids.
Posted: September 27, 2011 - 11:20AM
Author: Kate McLeod

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The companies, which aim to merge wireless charging, electric infrastructure and EVs hope to accelerate the popularization of wireless charging systems for EVs by developing systems that are usable right out of the box. The partnership says they are taking the first step toward making plugging in obsolete.

The effort intends to accelerate the popularity of EVs by making a charging system that is more available for use in private homes, shopping centers, parking lots and streets. The market for the systems includes individual owners, governments and other entities including power companies.

Wireless charging systems allow transfer of energy from a source placed on or under the ground, to a vehicle equipped with an energy-capture device. Charging occurs automatically when the vehicle is parked, with no physical contact between the vehicle and the charging source.

WiTricity has already developed and brought to market its patented magnetic resonance wireless charging system, which can transfer energy further and more efficiently in comparison to conventional systems such as electromagnetic induction and microwave transmission.

This enhances the possibilities of wireless charging by being able to deliver up to 3.3 kW of charging power over distance of 20cm (almost 8 inches) at an efficiency rate of more than 90%. The system is smaller and lighter weight than conventional systems and has no moving parts. It is safe and user friendly.

The three companies develop an easily deployable wireless charging systems for EVs over three steps: research and development, real-world testing, and commercialization.

The first step for wireless charging systems for Electric Cars will include:

1. Finding the most appropriate and easiest ways of incorporating wireless charging systems into EV charging infrastructure

2. Clarifying legal matters regarding the new technology and create proposals for rules governing the use of such systems

3. Testing of wireless charging systems with EVs fitted with power charging receptors internally

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