The City of Raleigh, North Carolina, announced its involvement in the Apollo Program, a nationwide initiative aimed at encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles through the use of wireless charging technology.
The program, launched by local startup company Evatran, has installed six prototype wireless charging systems with participants such as Google, Duke Energy, and The Hertz Corporation.
The City of Raleigh is the first municipality nationwide to join the seven other participants in the second phase of the program, which kicks off early next year.
The City of Raleigh, along with the other Apollo partners, will use Plugless Power wireless charging systems on its own fleet of electric vehicles. These second generation systems, improved following the feedback from the first phase of the program, are production-intent and will be available to individual electric vehicle owners as soon as next April.
“We are excited to be the first municipality to participate in this program,” Mayor Nancy McFarlane said. “This is another example of how Raleigh continues to lead the nation in sustainability issues.”
With offices in the Research Triangle Park area, Evatran has been developing the wireless charging technology for high-power applications over the last three years.
The City of Raleigh’s commitment to the Apollo Program represents the first wireless charging stations installed in the local area. The installations, at three parking spots in municipal lots around the Raleigh, will allow a Chevy Volt and two Nissan Leaf vehicles to pull up and charge without the effort of plugging into the unit.
“This is an exciting announcement for Evatran,” said Rebecca Hough, chief executive officer and co-founder of Evatran. “We’ve been looking forward to getting this technology into the field and there’s something to be said for our local municipality stepping up to be first. The Raleigh-Durham area is one of the most electric vehicle-friendly areas in the country, and with the city’s participation in the Apollo Program, it will now be a leader in the adoption of advanced electric vehicle charging technologies.”
Evatran said the City of Raleigh will have systems installed at the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex and the City’s Transit Operations Center. Both locations will provide charging for City-owned vehicles.