Monday, December 21, 2015

Nissan Designing Wireless Charging Road for Electric Cars

Nissan has big plans for electric cars and the cities in which they reside. A partnership with the architects at Foster + Partners will yield the automaker's idea of "The Fuel Station of the Future," which doesn't actually involve any actual stations whatsoever.

Instead, the future of fill-ups is all about wireless induction, where batteries can charge without requiring a physical cord between energy source and battery. Last month, Nissan unveiled a 7-kilowatt-hour wireless charger, which can charge a 60-kWh battery (like the one Nissan is currently developing) overnight, no plug required.

The concept goes beyond the home, though. In Nissan's idealized future, wireless induction will be built into a city's infrastructure, offering juice to EVs on the go. That could render even home charging potentially unnecessary. "Independent infrastructure could be a thing of the past," said Richard Candler, Nissan's manager of advanced product strategy.

Currently, wireless induction is a bit of a plaything, not exactly ready for prime time. Some cell phones are capable of wireless charging, but concerns over charging speed and waste heat (signaling less-than-stellar efficiency) prevents the technology from gaining too much momentum.

Nissan will unveil its full concept next year, likely at the Geneva Motor Show. The second-generation Leaf, which should pack the aforementioned 60-kWh battery (range is estimated around 300 miles), is posited to arrive next year, too.

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