One reason electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles have hit the market with a thud is that there are strings attached. Models such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are tethered. Drivers need to plug in to recharge the battery.
A number of companies are developing ways to cut the cord, to replenish the battery wirelessly with a mat that sits on the floor. Coils on the underside of the car engage the charger when the car is parked over them. The mats are plugged in while the car isn’t. Automakers and suppliers expect to have the chargers ready for sale around 2015.
Automakers are looking to such vehicles to comply with regulatory pressure to boost mileage and pare emissions.
However, according to Deloitte LLP’s survey last year, electric and plug-in vehicles aren’t even considered by 96 percent of consumers globally as the price, driving range and charging time deters purchases.
Therefore, many companies are embarking upon the wireless route with corporations such as Nissan Motor Co., Delphi Automotive Plc, Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Audi, Toyota Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Qualcomm Inc., Evatran LLC, and Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. being among the companies developing wireless chargers.