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Monday, March 21, 2011

Google Testing Wireless EV Charger

Using wireless technology similar to that available in an electric toothbrush, Google is trialing a Plugless Power™ charging station for electric vehicles at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. Plugless Power is the first electric vehicle (EV) charging system on the market to offer consumers a simple way to charge their EVs with the ease of hands-free, automatic technology.

Developed by Evatran™, LLC, Plugless Power is based on inductive technology, which has been used in electrical transformers for more than 100 years, and streamlines the charging of electric vehicles and extended-range hybrids by eliminating the nuisance of the cord and the plug.

“We are thrilled to have our first public release of the Plugless Power technology installed at Google’s headquarters,” said Tom Hough, co-founder and CEO of Plugless Power. “The interest shown by Google and the cooperation we’ve received to retrofit their EV provides evidence that a simple, convenient charging process is needed for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.”

Google has multiple low-speed electric vehicles for short-range travel around its campus and includes plug-in vehicles in its on-campus employee car-sharing program. The company will initially use the Plugless Power station to charge a retrofitted short-range electric vehicle. Google showed interest in testing the Plugless Power technology and understanding how its features could simplify the charging process for its plug-in EV fleet vehicles.

According to Hough, this first public installation is an important step in bringing the technology to commercial customers, and Evatran is actively seeking other fleet trial opportunities with corporations and municipalities to experience the Plugless Power technology in the third quarter of 2011. Most EV models are eligible for Plugless Power through a simple retrofit process. In addition to fleet distribution, Evatran is currently working with automotive manufacturers to integrate the Plugless Power technology into mass-market EVs by 2012.

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