These days when we think of wireless charging we think about using an accessory for our cell phones. Not long from now we may be using the same tech to power our electric vehicles. According to CNET, Toyota has invested in a company called WiTricity that, until now, has developed wireless charging solutions specifically for portable electronics. In a recent statement Toyota said that it “believes that resonance wireless charging is suitable for automobiles and aims for its early practical use.” Using magnetic near-field, WiTricity could potentially offer a wireless charging solution for cars, too. We’re imagining a future where, instead of pulling up to the pump, or plugging your electric car into an outlet, you simply need to drive into your garage to begin charging. “WiTricity power sources and capture devices are specially designed magnetic resonators that efficiently transfer power over large distances via the magnetic near-field. These proprietary source and device designs and the electronic systems that control them support efficient energy transfer over distances that are many times the size of the sources/devices themselves,” the firm said. Other companies, like HaloIPT, also offer wireless car-charging solutions, but this is the first we’ve heard of a major car manufacturer getting on board. More →
Woh there George Jetson… Did you take your flying car to a remote studio on Mars to record this interview? WiTricity Corp. CEO Eric Giler sat down with the BBC for a (very) quick chat about the future of power. His vision of the future is pretty intense — where you park your electric car above a mat in your garage that powers it up while you go inside and munch on some Soylent Green wafers. We need immediate gratification however, so we’re much more interested in his cell phone charging solution for the time being. Within 12-18 months, Giler suggests that consumers will be able to purchase an accessory that will enable wireless handset charging. We’re talking truly wireless, contact-less charging here; none of this Wildcharge/Touchstone nonsense. Unfortunately, Giler danced around the all-important ‘cost to the consumer’ issue a bit, but he did seem to imply that it would be a while before WiTricity technology is affordable. Early adopters who are willing to pay a premium however, could be able to open those wallets nice and wide for some WiTricity sexiness before 2010 is through. Hit the jump for the BBC’s interview.