Google and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) joined Evatran’s Apollo Program, the first program to test and demonstrate wireless charging capability for passenger vehicles.
Not to be confused with any rocket trips to the moon, the company’s Apollo Launch Program, kicked-off in early 2012, follows commercial partners as they trial wireless charging technology installed on their own Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF vehicles, in a variety of real-world applications. The second phase of the Program, with announced participant SPX Service Solutions, kicks off in the beginning of 2013.
Evatran says it has completed two additional installations of its Plugless Power wireless electric vehicle (EV) charging technology as part of the company’s Apollo Launch Program.
A new system installed at the LADWP, and a second Plugless Power installation at Google, join existing installations at the Hertz Corporation, Duke Energy, and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville, S.C.
According to Evatran, these installations, on Nissan Leaf cars, represent the first passenger electric vehicles in the world with full wireless charging capability.
Systems have now been installed at some locations for as long as five months. Drivers at the installation locations have been trialing the wireless charging systems in place of conventional plug-in recharging, and will continue to test the systems throughout the coming months.
“This is another exciting milestone for our company. Our team has worked tirelessly for the past year to develop the current prototypes being installed in the field through our Apollo Program,” said Rebecca Hough, Evatran’s chief operating officer. “We’ve received invaluable and candid feedback from our partners, and armed with that feedback, we have now set our sights on releasing an upgraded and refined production product as early as January 2013.”
This Google installation adds to the first generation wireless charging system Evatran installed at its campus in March of 2011.
The LADWP installation is part of the Garage of the Future initiative and is showcased with solar panels, energy storage batteries, and other types of EV charging equipment in downtown Los Angeles.
Feedback collected from partners thus far has led to increased system reliability, enhanced visual driver communication, and improved communications between vehicle and charging station components.
Evatran is working to incorporate these enhancements into its production Plugless Power residential charging station, which the company plans to make available starting in the first quarter of 2013.
This production offering could well be the first wireless charging product available to individual Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt owners.
Evatran is now accepting partners for the second phase of its Apollo Program set to launch in the next four months. Partners must have Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt vehicles in their fleet and be willing to drive the equipped vehicles on a daily basis.