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TECH: Wireless Charging for Your Electric Vehicle is Almost Here

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No one likes having to plug stuff in to charge. It doesn’t matter if it’s your phone, or your laptop, or your car. Wires are a pain to deal with and the world would be a better, less tangled place if we could do away with the darned things. While most of our stuff must still be plugged in for charging, cars may soon be removed from their tethers.

Wireless EV charging is set to arrive with the Mercedes-Benz S500e plug-in hybrid next year. BMW is also working on bringing wireless charging to their i3 electric and i8 plug-in hybrid. The technology, as is often the case, is debuting in luxury cars, but will trickle on down to more affordable cars over time.

Looking for a new or used car? Check out BestRide’s listing search here.

Electric vehicles are a taste of the future, or so everyone would have us believe, but not everyone is on board with this particular future. Electrics have big obstacles to overcome, some of which are dependent on where you live.

You’ll find EVs all over the west coast because of fantastic government incentives that reduce their cost and make them affordable compared to good old gasoline-powered vehicles. There are also more public charging stations on the west coast, so range anxiety is less of an issue.

Take a quick jaunt across the country, and you’ll find fewer incentives and fewer charging stations on the east coast. It makes electrics more expensive and more difficult to charge. Add that inconvenience to the notion of having to plug in your car every night, and many people won’t even consider electrics.

One small step towards getting people into EVs is making them more convenient by removing the need to plug them at all. Wireless charging will still require special equipment, but once that’s installed, plugging in will be a thing of the past.

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It works by sending a current from a wall unit into a charging pad located on the ground. Power from the pad transmits to the vehicle through a second charging pad located on the underside of the vehicle, which then sends power to the battery. Qualcomm Halo is one version of the product, and the company sees it providing power in parking spaces and even being embedded in the roadway to provide charging as you drive.

It’ll be interesting to see if this helps spur sales of electrics. We all want our cars to be convenient. Heck, even opening the door with a key or putting one in the ignition now feels like a job. Wireless charging might not be the solution to EV acceptance, but it takes them one step closer to being on par with gas vehicles.

Looking for a new or used car? Check out BestRide’s listing search here.

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Nicole Wakelin

Nicole Wakelin