Plugless Charging out of business?

Discussion in 'General' started by HoustonBeerMan, May 7, 2018.

  1. HoustonBeerMan

    HoustonBeerMan New Member

    I have their system on my 2013 Volt. Their Facebook page is down, no one answers their phones and all of their voicemail boxes are full. Can't find any confirmation that they ceased operations.
     
  2. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Which company? Plugless Power?

    Even if the one company has gone out of business, I think the future of EVs is wireless charging. The convenience is undeniable, burying the charger under the pavement makes vandalism and theft of copper cables almost impossible, and it sidesteps the problem of the lack of a true standard for EV charging plugs.

    The downside of wireless charging is it introduces an unnecessary energy inefficiency. However, as people regularly demonstrate, convenience is worth paying for. So i doubt the extra step of a 10-15% inefficiency is going to be a significant barrier to adoption.
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  3. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    We looked into a plugless but couldn't think of any reason to justify the extra expense for personal use. However, I feel like the tech will be essential once autonomous vehicles are more common.

    Maybe it's possible they've been quietly absorbed by another company?

    I thought Via Motors had folded a few months ago for a similar reason. Right on cue they resurfaced. Turns out they were forming a partnership with a Chinese automaker.
     
  4. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Is there a company called "Plugless Charging"? Or are you talking about Plugless Power?

    Color me confused...

     
  5. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    I can understand why people want to get away from mucking about with cables, but these systems are bound to be expensive and inefficient.

    If they are on concrete containing rebars, I imagine they will degrade the efficiency even more and may even have to be removed. A powerful system could well raise them to red heat which wouldn't do the concrete much good. There are problems in public spaces too. Metallic litter such as drinks cans might well degrade the efficiency too.

    Some kind of robot system capable of making a physical connection seems a better plan to me.
     
  6. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    One would think they would be inefficient, but some wireless companies claim extremely high efficiency rates. Easelink, for example, claims 99%. That seems crazy high, and I'd like to see some independent testing to confirm that figure, but I've seen other claims of over 90% from better known companies.
     
  7. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    I don't think that is really 'Wireless' in the sense of no physical connection. There seems to be a physical electrical connection between the car and the mat underneath it. It looks like a chequerboard pattern of positive and negative cells and some clever switching to ensure that the polarity from a misaligned set of contacts comes out right.

    Maybe that is a more practical approach than inductive systems, but I wonder how dirt picked up from the road might affect connections.
     
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  8. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    You know what? I think you're right. I just saw the Easelink on display and since it resembles an inductive charger and didn't have it connector deployed, it thought it was wireless. It is not.
     
  9. Easelink does connect, but I tested a Plugless Power system last year and there was a 4" gap between the pad and the car.
     
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  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    The claim for ~90% efficiency is something I initially found hard to believe, but after reading about how they can use coupled magnetic fields to efficiently transfer energy -- not at all the same as radiating energy in all directions -- I've been persuaded that it might be possible to at least get close to 90% energy efficiency. However, I will not be at all surprised if the practical energy efficiency in commercial systems proves to be a bit less than this ideal.

    Contrariwise, a claim for 99% efficiency in this system is something I flatly do not believe. That reads like someone using "creative accounting" for the thermodynamic analysis.

    "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." -- attributed to Mark Twain

     
  11. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member


    More reasonably, they will simply cut a hole in the concrete pavement, install the wireless charger, and patch the pavement with asphalt, so they won't have to worry about any need for rebar.

    That's what is done when they install one of those pressure-sensitive stop light triggers at an intersection.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2018

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