Plugless Power for Your Electric Vehicle
In a previous article we highlighted Witricity, a very innovative company looking to truly disrupt the nature of powering and charging battery powered devices with wireless charging products. One other company that has made such wireless charging products available today to electric vehicle owners is Evatran (or Plugless Power).
Virginia based Evatran was founded in 2010 and was initially started as a subsidiary of MTC Transformers, a company which manufactures the large electrical transformers you see on telephone poles. The company is mostly referred to by the name of its lead product, Plugless Power. So far the company has raised $2.5 million in private investments from three funding rounds and $4 million in Department of Energy grants. The company has a number of partnerships that include Google, Hertz Rent-A-Car. Duke Energy, and the State of Virginia.
The company’s product is Plugless Power which is claimed to be the world’s first hands-free, plugless, proximity charging system for electric vehicles and extended-range hybrids. It is an aftermarket product that consumers can purchase independent from the vehicle purchase. The charging system works as fast as a conventional level 2 plug-in charger and requires no vehicle alteration. A vehicle adaptor which is custom designed for each electric vehicle is permanently installed underneath the vehicle. Afterwards, the vehicle can simply be parked over the parking pad when not in use and the batteries will automatically be charged as seen below:
The Plugless L2 System is now available at $3,098 for the Nissan LEAF and $2,998 for the Chevrolet Volt. This price includes the parking pad, the control panel, and the vehicle adapter (both hardware & installation). Certified installation, support, and even financing is provided exclusively by Bosch. According to an article by Inc. published in May 2013 this year, the CEO of Plugless Power, Eva Hough, predicts that Evatran will sell 2,000 Plugless Power systems this year and that she believes the cost to consumers will be approximately $2,800 (presumably due to incentives). This would put 2013 revenues for the Plugless L2 System in 2013 at $5.6 million. Hough also said that the company is working with major German and U.S. auto companies on an OEM integrated product that said to hit the market in 2015. A key competitive advantage of the Plugless Power system when compared to competing offerings is user friendliness and flexibility. With Plugless having first mover advantage, it will be interesting to see how much adoption there is at the current price point and what major car manufactures decide to integrate this as a vehicle option.
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