Cadillac ELR And 2 Other Premium EVs To Get PLUGLESS Wireless Charging System

JUL 29 2014 BY MARK KANE 31

Cadillac ELR Buyers Get Complimentary EVSE

Cadillac ELR Buyers Get Complimentary EVSE

Just as we expected, the Cadillac ELR joins the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt as third model that can be equipped with Evatran’s PLUGLESS wireless charging.

For Evatran, this is potentially an important milestone move into the luxury plug-in segment.

Sales of 3.3 kW units should start on September 1.  Evatran accepts advanced orders now.  The press release does not contain prices for the ELR, but we believe that the kit for ELR will be similar to the Volt. General prices for PLUGLESS start from $2,470.

Of interest is whether or not GM will change its promotion of an EVSE station included with every ELR for someone who’d prefer to charge wirelessly.

“The PLUGLESS L2 offers the ultimate in convenience and simplicity for today’s electric vehicle driver. Completely eliminating the plug-in process, the PLUGLESS system ensures the EV owner is getting the maximum electric range out of his electric vehicle by ensuring that every time he parks, he’s charging. The system charges as quickly as conventional corded systems and all vehicle features, such as charge-timers and phone applications, can be used seamlessly with the PLUGLESS system. The system also has the industry’s only safety certification from Electronic Testing Laboratories (ETL).”

“After two years of field trials with partners such as Google, Hertz, and Duke Energy, the PLUGLESS System was made available to individual Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt owners in early 2014. Evatran has since completed installations from Montreal to Austin to Los Angeles and has on-boarded over 30 certified installation partners in the process.”

Evatran PLUGLESS Wireless Charging System

Evatran PLUGLESS Wireless Charging System

Three new premium model announcements by the end of 2014

Two other models will get the PLUGLESS kit offer by the end of the year.  Evatran says “premium” EVs, so we believe that the BMW i3 is among them.

Rebecca Hough, Evatran CEO and Co-Founder stated:

The launch of the Cadillac ELR system is an important milestone for us. Our intention has always been to make convenient wireless charging available to all electric vehicle drivers. Until now, we’ve focused on perfecting the system for LEAF and Volt drivers. It’s now time to shift our focus to expansion to more EV owners across the country and across the world.”

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31 Comments on "Cadillac ELR And 2 Other Premium EVs To Get PLUGLESS Wireless Charging System"

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These two questions I pose have probably been asked before.
Will the car equipped with wireless charging also keep it the plug for those occasions where the owner wants to plug-in at a public charging station?
While wirelessly charging will the vehicle be able to pre-condition (heat or cold) the interior of the car without using battery power?


Yes & yes.

The Plugless system simulates a physical plug as far as the car is concerned so, when over the induction pad, the car will draw the power needed to heat the car as if it was physically plugged in. And the car can still be plugged in to any L2 EVSE when opportunity charging is available or needed. No compromise needed on your part.
I have been using this system for over 3 months now and have not plugged my car, at home, since. Spiderwebs are growing on my old SPX L2 EVSE.
Here is my system in action:

Thanks for sharing! Looks like a decent setup, but I see you have yet to face a winter with the device. It obviously gets cold and snowy/icy in Quebec, a major concern for an outdoor installation. Do you have a plow service, or shovel yourself? What do you plan to do this winter when the device is buried *somewhere* under a foot of snow?

As for preheating, can your Volt preheat on 3.3kW without using the battery? I know my Leaf cannot (2012, without heat pump), and I live south of you in “warmer” upstate NY.

P.S. No wonder you didn’t use that SPX EVSE – it would get tiring bending over that far to fetch the plug!

I have a winter car port that my kids put up for me from october to march so i never have to deal with snow removal but if needed, the induction pad is not bolted to the ground, it simply lies there and is held in place with 3 pins and can be picked up for snow removal if needed.
I will move soon and my next house will have a garage and the system will follow me to my new home, that’s why i did not burry the cable. Winter wont be a problem as far as i’m concerned even if i absolutly hate those snowflakes.

And yes, preheating works as if the car was plugged-in, the car will react exactly the same as it does while plugged in.
I call my system my Virtual Valet!
It takes care of my car’s charging needs without any action on my part, none.

I think you missed my question. When I preheat my Leaf (on a 3.3kW EVSE), it draws power from the battery in addition to the wall, to power to 6kW heater. I know that an inductive pad will provide the same power as a plug – 3.3kW in this case. So if I had to preheat, it would pull on the battery in either case.

What I’m asking is whether your Volt is the same way. Can it preheat on only 3.3kW, or will it supplement that with battery power?

AFAIK, the Volt does pull power from both batteries and wall to preheat and it makes no difference from where the power comes from, be it from wireless or plug.

Brian, I did not know about the Nissan LEAF frigid weather limitations. 2011/2012MY Chevy Volt EREV’s will remote start and precondition in frigin temps, 26 degrees or warmer on 110V AC, just fine. Two times are allowed resulting in a loss of 2 or so miles of AER. Of course on the 240V AC, no loss of range SOC. 2011/2012MY, however at 25 degrees or lower when started, remotely or for precondition, the 55,000 wHt generator will run and consume bout .07/100 of a gallon of gas. This was desinged in to provide fast waste heat to the cabin and is called, Cabin Assisted Heating or ERDTT. Through out normal driving at temps of 25 degrees or less, while still in CD (All Electric) Mode this may occure again as Volt EREVs’ core temp drops. Can be over ridden by hyvac system set in Comfort Mode with warm fan speed. (External temp sensor replacement is a work around) If plugged in, charging or not with temps 25 degrees or lower, a remote start will result in ERDTT. 2013/2014/2015MY Volt EREV, threshold for ERDTT can be set manually to 15 degrees and the system can be told to disallow ERDTT while… Read more »

To be clear, the Leaf can preheat the cabin just fine, whether it is plugged in at L1 (120V), L2 (240V) or unplugged.

My 2012 Leaf has a 6kW resistance heater, but only a 3.3kW L2 charger. At L1, the charger only supplies 1.4kW. Therefore, when preheating on L2, about 2.7kW is drawn from the battery. That jumps to 4.6kW on L1 and 6kW unplugged. (technically more, with losses).

Many of the new Leafs come with a 6kW charger, and a more efficient heater. I don’t know the numbers, but I do know that L2 can provide enough power to preheat the car, and still charge the battery a little.

I know that the plugless power system still provides the same 3.3kW that my corded EVSE provides today, so my numbers would be unchanged.

As for the Volt, it truly is a marvel of engineering. GM was really thorough in designing it. It is too bad they have been so terrible at marketing / selling it!

Do you know how the heatpump in the Leaf and the 6KW resistive heater work together?
Does the heatpump become disabled in temperature near and below freezing because the heatpump doesn’t allow for a defrost cycle. So resistive heat takes over at colder temperatures or am I wrong?

This is a good thing but out of my price range.

Not really George, a good L2 EVSE will cost over $1000 so, Plugless is a little over double a normal EVSE.
Say i keep my car for ten years, $1500 more for Plugless is $150 per year, well under half a dollar per day more for a Plugless System…
I guees i’ll have to buy one less coffee per week to pay for my system. And i dont have to plug anymore at home, how much is that worth?, just ask your wife 😉

What happens if you plug it in while it’s wirelessly charging?

System works on a first come first serve. If you plug in while it’s charging with Plugless, nothing will happen. if you stop the Plugless system, The Physical plug will take over.

Second that question.

And no 6.6 kW option?

6.6Kw and higher will be available soon, thay are working on it. They will have systems available for many cars, including Teslas.
Be patient, it will come.

“ensuring that every time he parks, he’s charging”

So every parking spot everywhere will have one of these pods? Yeah, right.

Rather this forces you to park in the same spot every time. This is an issue for those with multiple cars in their driveway. You now are required to also have a dedicated parking spot. As opposed to a corded EVSE which can be placed to reach multiple spots.

Though these units aren’t designed to do so, there’s no reason why one unit couldn’t be connected to multiple charge coil plates. I envision public charge stations that utilize this could network a few such units with a dozen or more induction plates. No more fighting for 1 or 2 parking spots, just park in the section, and when one car is done (or reached a predetermined time limit, or 80% charge if the station owner chooses to enforce some sort of restriction) the unit could automatically disconnect power from one parking spot and begin charging another, no cord swapping needed. Not to say it could simultaneously service a dozen EV’s, but you’d have a much better chance of finding an open parking spot among the ICE vehicles. Think about the Tesla supercharger model, lower power but inductive, and spread out across more spots

I think you completely missed my point. You would still have to put down a pod at every parking spot. I don’t know what that would cost if they aren’t independent like you suggest, as opposed to each being energized independently.

If a corded EVSE is ICE’d, but the neighboring spot is available, you simply pull the cord a little farther. If an inductive EVSE is ICE’d, you’re SOL.

At home this presents an issue as well. I have my EVSE mounted in the garage but towards the door. I can park my car in the garage, just outside the garage or outside and next to the garage (my driveway is double-wide, but I have a one-car garage). The cord will reach any of these spots. An inductive EVSE requires that I pick one and stick with it. Given that we have multiple cars (as well as occasional visitors), this is easier said than done.

Yes Brian, you are right, a little discipline is required as you need to park in the same spot every time, as i do.
If you have so many cars that you have to play with your parking spots, mayby Plugless is not for you but for the vast majority of us, we always park at the same place.
Now, you dont see inductive pads everywhere?
Me either, not yet anyways. But enventually, convenience always wins dont you know?
Remember when we first got cable tv, we had a cable between a channel selector box and a box screwed on the wall, remember that?
Thats where we are now with plug-ins, it’s just a first phase, the next phase is Universal wireless charging.
Imagine pulling to a parking spot, Intelligent Wireless pods will detect your car’s ID, start charging according to your car’s specs and add the cost to your monthly electrical bill, no fuss.
That’s what i’d like to see in the future, how about you?

I have nothing against inductive charging myself. I just do not think that it is worth the premium for the convenience (for me, others with more money and less time might feel otherwise), but who knows about the future. This could become so common that the premium is basically nothing.

What is far more important to me is fast charging, over “convenient” slow charging. I want to be able to take my BEV on a 300 mile trip without having to plan my stops, just like I do with my hybrid. If I’m getting low, I get off the next exit and look for the nearest charging station. The only thing I worry about with inductive charging is possibly spending too many resources developing this minor convenience rather than developing a robust network of fast charging. (To my knowledge, they aren’t competing yet)

My biggest issue is with marketing this as “charge any time you stop”. You first need to locate a station, which is no different from a corded EVSE; they certainly will not be deployed at every parking spot in every parking lot.

DCFC along the expressways. L2 wireless in the cities/homes/workplaces/any place where a car is parked for some time.

Low level DCFC for cities IMHO. L2 and L1 relegated to workplace/airport commercial charging.

Hi Brian,

You can still plug-in your PLUGLESS-equipped EV.

We make no claims for public wireless charging infrastructure, though this is being done in Europe with electric taxi stations and electric bus stops, and in testing at stop lights.

Wireless charging offers all the convenience and none of the hassle, without compromise!

I am sorry, but nothing is “without compromise”. Inductive charging is, by nature, less efficient and more expensive than corded charging. I, for one, consider that a compromise.

Right now, multiple cars can be paired to one system, a good usefull example would be pizza delivery cars, driver pulls up to get new deliveries while the car is charging, no plug needed for the whole fleet, no hassle.

I still don’t see the use for this technology until it is combined with a driverless car.

I fail to see your logic here, how does wireless charging work only for driverless cars?

Inductive charging is a great match for a luxury plug-in. No change in driving/parking habits are necessary at home. Just park in the garage, and it’s fully charged and ready to go the next morning.

This technology will help those transitioning from a hybrid to a plug-in hybrid get more consistent use of the battery pack.

Comment on article: Found out by calling Cadillac Concierge, Cadillac will fork over up to $3000 for any type of charger installation. If you can get a wireless for $2500 plus $500 installation, you don’t owe a cent. For the next 600 elr buyers since 400 have been sold so far and the program is for the first 1000 customers. Alternatively if you have a difficult install due to a detached garage, garden, etc, and the $995 spx/caddy charger will push the total over 3000, you can opt for a VOltec like Brian has or a 16 amp Bosch (all an ELR usually ever needs) and get the total back down to under 3k. Or if you have a simple install u can either spend it on the wireless thingy or else you can get a higher amperage cord or longer cord, etc. Now in my case I don’t want anything at all extra….. So, If I buy an ELR and don’t want anything, they’ll give me $2000 cash back (I’d wager thats the average amount they actually spend per car). Brian S: The volt charges similarly to your Leaf. The car heater on high is around 6kw, but you… Read more »