Power ParkingWednesday 23rd October 2013
Wireless charging of electric vehicles (EV) is not new - that is, in the timescale of electric vehicle deployment - it has been around for at least a couple of years! Having parking lots with areas where a vehicle can charge without plugging in, just park over a pad on the ground, is far more convenient.
But in an urban environment, with lots of EVs and the potential for an expanding commercial vehicle EV fleet delivering and servicing across a city can spark ideas - wirelessly as it were.
That is what happened to the aptly named Jeremy McCool. He told Wired: “I was walking down the street, pondering how wireless charging could be deployed. I was standing at 116th and Broadway, and I was looking down and saw a manhole cover. And thought, that’s the ticket. There are no cords, no hazards. Everything can be underneath the manhole cover.”
McCool is the CEO of Hevo Power (Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Optimization), who have just been announced as semi-finalists for the SAFE Emerging Innovation Award. They have progressed due to McCool developing his man-hole concept for wirelessly charging EVs and Hybrid vehicles.
On McCool’s mind were the problems facing the ‘traditional’ charging method, plug-in stations, involve such things as vandalism, inconvenience for fleets, paying mechanism, faulty connectors and even just finding an available public charging point.
HEVO uses a resonance charging system, rather than inductive which uses a primary coil to produce the electromagnetic field that requires a duplicate in the EV to charge the batteries. Instead HEVO uses a power station, a receiver and an app.
The power station would be fixed to or embedded in the street or pavement, the receiver would be fitted to the vehicle and the smartphone app, which serves as the payment interface, removing the need for payment kiosks, also supplying utilization information and a guide for drivers for optimal alignment with the embedded charger.
McCool’s idea of using manhole cover power stations makes it convenient, inconspicuous and protected.
Early next year HEVO will roll out the system in New York City. As you will see from the image and video - a vehicle simply parks over the ‘manhole cover’.
So imagine a delivery truck pottering through New York, stopping and starting again and again - if many of those drop offs allow him to park over a HEVO manhole cover, while delivering, the truck is getting a top-up charge.
A question may arise over the safety of these ‘street’ power stations. The HEVO website raises this in its FAQs - asking ‘Will HEVO Power Stations electrocute my cat?”. They answer (in part) - “We're definitely not in the business of frying felines, canines or humans. We wouldn't recommend anyone lying between a HEVO Power Station and their EV for a prolonged period of time, but there's no risk in being electrocuted by one.”
It seems a very McCool idea, so you may well see HEVO manhole covers in a city near you soon!
Watch HEVO Powers video:
Wednesday 23rd October 2013