Toyota Begins Wireless Charging Verification Tests Using Prius Plug-In Hybrid (w/video)

FEB 17 2014 BY MARK KANE 24

Visualization of wireless vehicle charging system

Visualization of wireless vehicle charging system

Toyota Motor Corporation announced the beginning of verification testing of its newly developed wireless charging system.ย  Testing will commence in late February in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

Three Prius plug-ins, fitted with a 2 kW receiver, will be able to recharge in 90 minutes.

A trick feature is that Intelligent Parking Assist is coupled with wireless charging, which means that car can not only park itself, but will park exactly in the right position to maximize efficiency.

Test car with wireless vehicle charging system

Test car with wireless vehicle charging system

“The charging system uses magnetic-resonance technology, which transmits electricity by utilizing the magnetic resonance resulting from changes in magnetic field intensity between a coil on the ground that transmits and a coil on the vehicle that receives. The system can reduce drops in power transmission efficiency that can be caused by misalignment or height differences between the transmitting coil and receiving coil. Created with future market launch in mind, the system is designed to minimize electromagnetic interference on nearby equipment and the ground-installed transmitting coil is robustly structured to withstand a vehicle driving over it.”

The ultimate goal for Toyota is to commercialize such a system and this is probably why the Japanese company is investing in WiTricity

Key Specifications of Wireless Battery Charging System:

  • Charging method: Magnetic resonance
  • Frequency: 85 kHz
  • Input voltage: AC 200 V
  • Charging power: 2 kW
  • Charging time: Approx. 90 minutes
On-screen display

On-screen display

Categories: Charging, Toyota


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24 Comments on "Toyota Begins Wireless Charging Verification Tests Using Prius Plug-In Hybrid (w/video)"

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I like the two-tone color on that one. Seriously, though.. while this technology is “neat” it really doesn’t serve much purpose in my opinion. Give us more range on the PiP if you want to impress us, Toyota!

Petty Cool!

Welcome to 2012 Toyota, LOL. Why only 2kW? At least they are going w/Witricity. They’ve been around for awhile.

All it takes is to wave a fridge magnet by the PiP and it will be fully charged in a jiffy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But, but, but… Didn’t Toyota tell us that the future is in hydrogen fuel cells? Or was that just Bob Carter spewing FUD?

That’s about right. couldn’t you just use a cell phone charger mat to charge this car?

2Kw is a cellphone charger??

Wake me when they have a wireless fast charger system…

From the video:
1:08 โ€“> 1.7 hours to charge, 2.5 km range
1:11 โ€“> 0.7 hours to charge, 13.9 km range
1:13 โ€“> 0.1 hours to charge, 24.4 km range

In an hour (1.7-0.7) added 11.4 km โ€“> 7.1 miles per hour)
In 0.6 hour (36 min) added 10.5 km (7.6 miles) โ€“> 10.9 miles per hour

Given that an EV typically get ~3.5 miles per 1 kWh charge, this equates to 2-3 kW charging rate. This is on low end of Level 2 (220V @ 15A) or Level 1 (110V @ 20A)

Plugless Power seems to already offer a better system.

“The system charges your EV as quickly as plug-in Level 2 (240V) stations โ€“ approximately 8 hours for the Nissan LEAF and approximately 3 hours for the Chevrolet Volt.”

(times are based on having a 3.3kWh onboard charger)

The Volt charge rate is over 13 miles per hour charge. But with the Plugless Power system, you can also just plug in for a faster charge when needed.

The system is now $1,000 off!

Pretty cool. Thx for the link.
1000$ for a wireless Volt charger.
I’m too cheap. I’ll just plug in by hand.

No, they are offering $1000 off for the first 250 customers. The fully priced wireless system costs $2998 not including installation (probably $1000+ more).

This is a solution in search of a problem. Who comes up with this stuff? Why not just plug in?

Wireless phones were also a solution in search of a problem. What was wrong with having a wire? Wired phones worked just fine for decades.

After we all have wireless charging and get used to it, wired chargers will seem so quaint.

Because it will be the norm.
Because handeling a wet and dirty handle and cord is temporary.
Because handicap people (like me) like the idea of not having to plugin, that SPX cord is heavy to pull when you walk with two canes.
Because electric starters replaced the HANDCRANK a few years back!
Because i dont want to imagine a mall parking lot full of charging stations with cords all over the place creating tripping hazards.
Because wireless will look cleaner.
Because vandals wont have a target.
Because, it’s probably the only outcome.
isnt nextgen Leaf to get plugless?
You really, really, really think the plug will win over plugless in the futur?!??

I’m on the list to get pluglessnpower and i can’t wait to get it.:)

Good points
It is astounding the number of people who look at issues and decide:
‘This in not a problem for me, and does not bring me any advantage’.

That is fair enough, but they then go on to draw the conclusion:

‘So there is no problem for anyone, and this is useless’

Which isn’t fair enough at all.

Also the wireless standard has been defined, so no CHademo vs SAE charger battles.

I’ll add to Driverguy’s list.

* I hate trying to pry the port cover open in the winter when its covered in ice
* I don’t like getting wet in the rain while trying to coil up a muddy cable.
* I don’t like getting back out of my car because I forgot to unplug.
* I don’t like getting back out of my car because I forgot to close the charge port.
* I don’t like not having a full charge in the morning because I forgot to plug in.
* I don’t like having to fiddle w/the plug when my hands are full of groceries
* I don’t like to have to rely on a device that is repeatedly mechanically stressed (wear & tear) vs a non-contact device.

The international wireless charging standard SAE J2954 is being finalized. It is interesting that the standard will have three classes of power 3.7 kW, 7.7 kW, and 22 kW.

My problem is that it doesn’t add much benefit to the majority of the people. Yet, it has the potential to slow EV growth. We already have too many competing charging standards as it is. And adding this feature to a car costs extra money. I’d rather not try to throw an extra hurdle into the mix right now for getting public charging station infrastructure built out.

I love the handcrank image, that’s really a blatant case of obvious progress nobody can deny.

There are definite positives to wireless charging (stated already). But there are also some drawbacks:

There will always be some loss in power between the transmitter and the receiver. Every state conversion (from electricity to magnetic field back to electricity) induces some loss. So from a well-to-wheels standpoint, plugging in is more efficient. Not grossly so, but at least 1% more efficient (based on my memory that the current gold standerd for wireless charging is 95-97% efficiency).

You cannot “take the plug” once a wireless charging car is full. The installation ratio of charging stations to cars has to be 1:1 unless you can incent people to move after they are full.

Those drawbacks aside, developments like this can only spur plugin adoption, so I am for it! But please keep installing plugin EVSEs too, so I can charge my old Leaf ๐Ÿ™‚

In time, I think wireless charging will be the preferred public charging method. For some people with garages that charge primarily overnight, plugging in works just fine as well. Down the road, I would really like to see charging embedded in some highways for longer, faster trips ๐Ÿ˜€ BTW Toyota, build us a vehicle that uses the battery as its primary power, large enough to meet most peopleโ€™s daily needs and use your ICE primarily for longer trip needs.

On the long run, l keep thinking we are going to have a high power under the car secured contacts system. This will happen for the followinh reasons:

A contact system on a little bump can be made secured
There are no yield losses associated with it
It is simple metal contacts so it is immune to vandalism
It is not imposing a receiver coil weight on the car
It allow very high power up to the megawatt level
It doesn’t pose any magnetic field hasard
It gives exactly the same no intervention advantage as wireless

From what I have read, there are no magnetic field hazards with wireless charging and wireless has the ability to charge faster than 2Kw, I think it is more about what the battery is capable of accepting. With wireless you donโ€™t need a clean surface to make the connection. I think you can even embed the transmitter under the surface and weather conditions are not a concern like direct contact methods could be.

The clean surface of the contacts is something that comes back frequently but it has his own solution.
The contacts are above a small bump so they are not in the water and the frequent arrivals of a car will cause the car contacts to brush away any dust that could be standing on there.