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Nissan Considering Inductive Charging for Electric Cars


Nissan Considering Inductive Charging for Electric Cars

You might have caught the news that Nissan is planning to invest some £200 million into electric car manufacture - incidentally creating 350 jobs in a battery production factory in Sunderland - but for those of us up on technology there's another angle to the story that's worth a look. Nissan's Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) is likely to come complete with inductive (read: wireless) charging.

The ZEV, which will be launching in the US and Japan next year, with a Europe left wait until 2010, is planned to offer a 100 mile range from a full charge, and as with all battery estimates real world performance is likely to be lower. At first induction charging would be limited to wireless charging bays for topping-up the ZEV's battery away from a 'primary' charging point.

Nissan even suggests that eventually electric car lanes could be fitted with induction charging strips, enabling cars to be powered while on the move. Such an implementation of induction charging is not likely any time soon as the cost will likely be prohibitive, to say the least.

Nissan is also looking into fast-charging technology, enabling quick boosts to its electric cars' batteries in appropriate sites. The idea, says Nissan Europe's general manager of product strategy and planning, Larry Haddad, would be that "while you're shopping, or having a cup of tea, the battery will refill to 80% of its capacity, in about 25 minutes."

If this fast-charging can be combined with widespread induction charging points then Nissan is definitely on to a winner. For now, however, induction charging is likely to remain limited to the bathroom and "magic toothbrush" (as my young cousin calls it) type gadgets where the limitations aren't an issue.


Via Guardian.


July 21, 2009, 10:01 pm

Last word I had on wireless electricity transmission was powering a ten watt bulb in some American university under limited conditions.

Am I out of touch ?


July 21, 2009, 10:15 pm

Induction strips in the road will be prohibitive, but it would make an excellent solution for cark parks, garages, driveways, even for a quick two minute boost at a junction.

@Frank - I believe you are referring to wireless transmission of power. Induction uses fluctuating magnetic fields to induce current, and can be used at reasonably high efficiency to drive large loads, but only over short distances (say the distance from a charging pod raised slightly from the road surface to the underside of a car).


July 21, 2009, 10:24 pm

That is rubbish. I much prefer the method they use to make dodgems go at fair grounds. :)


July 21, 2009, 11:25 pm

I fully endorse a UK-wide roll-out of dodgems!


July 21, 2009, 11:31 pm

Surely any magnetic field powerful enough to charge a car is going to be powerful enough to pull off your watch, jewellery, coins, tooth fillings, artificial hip joints, etc. Think MRI scanner. Sounds like just the kind of thing you want on a public road...

I suppose if the polarity is alternating fast enough and the distances are short then the field doesn't have to be as powerful while still transmitting enough energy. Still sounds nuts though.

Tony Walker

July 22, 2009, 12:05 am


Come and have a go on the UK's only fully orbital motorway, the M60 round Manchester, (and then really in one direction as there's a roundabout (still on the motorway though) in the clockwise direction).

Makes the fairgroung ride quite boring. The stretch from the Eccles interchange through what is locally called "Death Valley" due to its notoriety, is particular (ahem) fun.

Tony Walker

July 22, 2009, 12:09 am

EVs are useless to those of us without driveways and who cannot guarantee to be able to park outside our own houses.

Furthermore, we cannot stretch cables from our houses to the car without generating business for them lowlifes who advertise on national TV during the day. I'm sure the council is going to pay for kerbside power points for us all. Not.

Hamish Campbell

July 22, 2009, 1:21 am

Why have they made an electric car, where range is a strong limitation, with such ridiculously poor aerodynamics?


July 22, 2009, 4:51 am

Yea I go for Dodgems too.

Mind you I don't think they are emission free - judging by the coke, hot dogs lost in impacts and er 'human stomach projectile evacuation' on hard ass grudge matches...that I've seen at the Funfair.

- Still all technology has teething troubles ;)

BTW Nice moving brick in the picture - well done Nissan, Postman Pat must be well hot.


July 22, 2009, 6:19 am

@ Chris - nah its nothing like an MRI it does use magnetic fields to transfer the electricity but no magnets, just plain wires intersecting the field which transfers the electricity (if you get what I mean) so peoples watches wont be flying around

Lance Uppercut

July 22, 2009, 3:28 pm

@ Chris - the bottom of you car will act as a Farraday cage so containing any magnetic field from th electromagnetic induction effect. Also, the amount of current you'd need flowing through the wires to produce any magnetic field strong enough to physically move metallic objects would generate enough heat via resistance to melt the wires. This is one of the reasons MRI scanner windings are cooled with liquid helium to 4 degrees above absolute zero.


July 22, 2009, 9:36 pm

This is exactly the sort of news story that should be happening here in the U.S. The big three need to get the ball rolling on electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are safe, efficient, and clean. With a little more research, and a lot more commitment from the large automakers, electric cars become a very viable solution to reduce our oil consumptions, green house gas emissions, health care costs, and at the same time adding jobs and bolstering the economy. For more information about electric cars, their history (they&#8217ve been around a long time, ask owners of the GM EV1 or RAV4-EV), and their advantages, check out the book &#8220Two Cents Per Mile&#8221 by Nevres Cefo. The website for the book can be found at http://www.twocentspermile.com and you can read excerpts of it on Amazon at http://bit.ly/2centspermile


July 22, 2009, 10:08 pm

@Lance Uppercut - Yep, wasn't suggesting that anyone inside the car would be affected (more pedestrians), or that the field would realistically be anywhere near as powerful as an MRI scanner. It's just that an awful lot of energy would need to be transferred, and that just strikes me as requiring a rather strong field, superconductors or not, particularly if the distances involved are anything more than a few inches... Sounds a bit pie-in-the-sky, but I'd like to know how they plan to do it.

According to Wikipedia, there's an MIT project called WiTricity that might extend those distances without requiring an MRI-spec field.

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