Introducing Wireless Charging Via Manhole Covers (video)

OCT 9 2013 BY JAY COLE 19

While there currently are no production electric vehicles that can accept a wireless charge right off the dealer lot, there are companies (such as Bosch with Plugless Power) that have made after market equipment to allow cars such as the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt to accept a remote charge.

Wireless Charging Disguised As Manhole Covers - Brilliant!

Wireless Charging Disguised As Manhole Covers – Brilliant!

The first production vehicle to come equipped with wireless inductive charging will likely be from Infiniti, in the form of the oft-delayed LE all-electric premium luxury sedan in 2016, followed as an option on the 2nd generation LEAF in 2017.

Now, recent start-up HEVO Powerwhich stands for Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Optimization, says the future will be wireless charging, and they have there own take on what public inductive charging will look like – manhole covers.

“Drivers forget to plug in all the time. Drivers will also back into kiosks damaging the units. There’s vandalism and theft of the units themselves. And sometimes there’s faulty connectors, and these can damage vehicles, with average repair costs of $14,000,” says HEVO Power co-founder Steven Monks.

HEVO Power Station

HEVO Power Station

HEVO’s electromagnetic resonance technology lets plug-in vehicles pull up over the manholes, which cover the charging stations, and fill up.  As for the efficiency of the units?  Not a problem according to Jeremy McCool, HEVO Power’s co-founder and CEO:

“What we have found is we are able to charge vehicles at the same comparable rates as plug-in stations, at the same efficiencies as plug-in stations.”

While we think the concept is a great example of “thinking out of the box” for a new public charging station solution, it probably is also a good 5 to 10 years ahead of its time.

Until then, HEVO will continue to focus on commercial electric fleets in New York City.  Currently there are about 100 medium duty cube trucks in use in the city and growing constantly as more business realize the advantages of plugging in…wirelessly or not.

Updated: August 24th, 2015

HEVO Power, hat tip to Alan C

Categories: Charging


Leave a Reply

19 Comments on "Introducing Wireless Charging Via Manhole Covers (video)"

newest oldest most voted

I kind of picture something similar to this where you drive over some type of sheet of metal or thing like this and it powers the car up.

YES! faster please.

” it probably is also a good 5 to 10 years ahead of its time.”
Which is why now is the time to standardize on something, so we don’t have to go through the SAE vs Chademo situation again.

While on the subject of Manhole Covers. Does anyone know why they put them in the middle of roadways instead of on corners or shoulders?


Roadways are typically crowned with center being higher than curb-sides. This is so manholes are away from low spots where fluids can collect. Manholes are also common on sidewalks, as they are also higher ground that curb gutters.

Worth reading.!faq/c14od

L2 charging.
As efficient as wired charging.
Unit on the car only weights 10lbs.
Don’t have to be perfectly aligned, but has parking assist if needed.
Has FOD foreign object detection.

“…at the same efficiencies as plug-in stations.”

Bullshit. Wireless transmission of electricity will never be 100% efficient like the transmission of electricity through wires.

From their FAQ: “Just know that we can Power Up most Electric Vehicles in the 90% or better range in comparison to corded charging.” So, 90% efficient. Nothing to sneeze at, but NOT at the same efficiency as wires.

You know, for public charging I’m OK with 90% efficient if it reduces maintenance costs of public charging stations. I assume that this will get better over time – I wonder what the theoretical limit is?

For home charging (the bulk of charging for most people) I still want a plug. I hate to throw away 10% of the energy away unless I really have to.

Assuming a full 10% difference, for me that would be less than 5 pennies/day. If it prevents me from forgetting to plug in just once and having to use gas, it’s more than paid for the losses. Also my time is worth more than 5 pennies, especially in the cold/rain/snow getting my work clothes dirty on a cord, etc. (I constantly battle my charge point door)

Plugless power and Witricity have efficiencies over 95%. Also, if I can charge at 240V vs. 120V that is more efficient. Also note the electronics in the wireless transmitter may be more efficient than the circuits in the wired EVSE. W/out the data (or using testing) it’s all speculation from our side.

I still don’t know about wireless. There is the placement issue, efficiency, standards, does it induce in the metalwork of the car? do you have interference in the car’s systems? how do you agree on where on the car it is?
It still feels messy to me. They could make a video where they thoroughly cover these topics but I fear they wont be able to.
Maybe it will happen for home charging.

That is a very good system indeed, nothing to think or forget about. It is also nice when it is rainning so you don’t have to manipulate anything getting wet even more.

Any EV should at least have it as an option.

Call me Mr. Negative, but this looks like another way to get ice’d.


getting ice’d is when a ice (gas car) parks in an electric car parking spot, which happens all the time

On the plus side if this takes off you wont have to worry about getting unplugged when parked at a charging station.


odds of that happening are low and charging at public chargers is pretty worthless in general

“What we have found is we are able to charge vehicles at the same comparable rates as plug-in stations, at the same efficiencies as plug-in stations.”

The “same comparable rates” lacks context for “rate”. Clearly the issue is not the efficiency of wireless charging. More important is ‘rate of miles added per unit time’. Wireless charging at Level 2 rate will add approx. 20 rMPH (miles range per hour). Wireless charging at Quick Charge rate can add 150 rMPH, or 75 miles of range in 30 min. This is an important factor for public charging as parking fees will likely apply in addition to electricity fees for street-side charging.

Monitoring non-charging use of public wireless charging spots will be critical to widespread adoption. Nothing new, but a charger with a longer charge-cord can allow access for adjacent spots unlike a half-covered wireless charging spot.