The Future of Electric Vehicles, Where’s the Plug?

The Future of Electric Vehicles, Where’s the Plug?

I have promoted electric vehicles for many years, to move this technology into the mainstream for various applications. And today it’s reality, and there’s no turning back.

Today’s battery technology and vehicle designs have made electric vehicles more feasible, but there are many concerns about tomorrow. I often hear questions regarding charging or automated battery changing stations amongst other ways to reenergize power supplies. Most notably “Where do I plug in”?

So let’s talk about tomorrow.

In the future “plugs” will slowly disappear, and transfer of electrical energy performed through magnetic couplings. Yes, a charger with no plug and similar to the electrical transformer, where electrical current is passed from the primary to secondary coil through magnetic field. There is no physical connection, and many charging stations will consist of primary coil that’s coupled to your vehicle through a receiving coil. This transfer of energy will be performed through a electromagnetic coupling. Your vehicle can easily be fitted with receiver coil for coupling into these charging units. It may not look like a charger, but that’s the beauty. No need to turn “ON” and “OFF”, these units are fully automatic. These charging stations will be the size of the bumper or wheel stops located in parking lots all across the country, and placed in these very locations. Parking areas will be designated for magnetic coupled charging, where you can drive to a charging block and couple your vehicle and then do your shopping, work, or just enjoy your leisure time. There are numerous ways to implement charging stations, and make practical.

Another application for the coil located in the front of your car body, will be used for charging your battery on highway sections where superconductive cables were constructed in roads and highways. When electrical current is passed through these cables they generate a magnetic field so electric vehicles can collect energy during long trips. Cities will implement this technology as well, using this energy source to power inner transportation systems using battery power when moving from one cable section to another, and other. There are many applications for charging electric vehicles.

So don’t worry about the plug, it’s going to disappear in the future. Just make certain you have an electric vehicle to take advantage of the new infrastructure being created.

Timo | 30 août 2010

You mean something like this?

Old invention. As old as induction motor in fact (made by Nikola Tesla). Modern research have just refined it a bit. In fact GM EV1 used magnetic induction for charging, so using that is nothing new even for relatively modern age.

Brian H | 30 août 2010

And how much power, how fast, with how much loss? TANSTAAFL

DanAderhold | 30 août 2010

Yes, I know it's nothing new. I am providing ideals for charging vehicles. Presently there are very few devices used for electric vehicles, more applied in the future. There are many inventions that haven't been implemented to any scale. And there are many people who don't know this technology can be applied for charging.

That's the whole point? To they will ask?

DanAderhold | 30 août 2010

And Electric Cars were introduced over 100 years ago, about 25 mph and 100 miles per charge (1909 Baker Electric). They also had charging stations.

Let’s make sure the word gets out so all associated technologies are known and available.

DanAderhold | 31 août 2010

Yes torque is a problem with increased RPM. I have interest in ferrofluids, superconductive materials, and several motors technologies not to discuss here. I understand the concerns and especially cost per unit toward production. You probably gathered am a former GM Engineer, and worked with all Big-3 in MI.

I don’t like talking too much about technology in these forums. I understand the need to keep cost low, and make steady steps moving forward.

And Electric Cars were introduced over 100 years ago, about 25 mph and 100 miles per charge (1909 Baker Electric). They also had charging stations.

Let’s make sure the word gets out for all associated charging technologies.

DanAderhold | 31 août 2010

Brian H,
I’m not certain what this “TANSTAAFL” means, but I know what this “PSIB” means, Person Stuck In Box.

Roblab | 1 septembre 2010

Every household has a transformer on the pole or in a box. All of these use induction. And they have power losses. Nothing works better than straight connections, and, Hey, it only takes about 10 seconds. You don't have to align your car to anything, or worry about clearance, there are no failure prone mechanical devices to align the inductive device with your car. Anything other than a plug gets complicated, expensive, and inefficient. That's why every device in your house uses a PLUG!

DanAderhold | 1 septembre 2010


Read the link that Timo provided in the first comment, companies will built these devices, and reason is space and safety. These units are fairly small, they won’t require much space, tamper proof, and this provides safety in large parking areas.

You will still have the ability to plug your car in to outlets when available, but when it comes to public parking, the primary concern will be space and safety. There won’t be any problems with alignment and coupling, this is basic.

Douglas3 | 1 septembre 2010

Electrical transformers have iron in them for a reason. Without that the coupling will be lossy. So wireless charging may be practical for a cell phone, but it will be uneconomical at the power levels required to charge a car.

Timo | 2 septembre 2010

@Douglas, Roblab, those losses might be rather small with tuned coils. Originally Tesla invention, later fine-tuned by several modern scientist (and are still tuning) resonating magnetic coils have already got a over 75% efficiency of power transfer at _one meter_ distance. At car charging that distance will be a lot less. More like ten to five centimeters with right align. That would give efficiency about 80-85% with auto-tuning.

You might need to restrict that to slow charging so that lost power levels stay down. 15% losses of 50kW level 3 charger is 7.5 kW which is quite a heater. With level 2 or 1 charger that would be a lot more tolerable level of loss.

(obviously direct plug is better at transferring energy, I hope we get room temperature superconductive cables at some point so that we could really charge our 200+kWh batteries in just few minutes in future.)

DanAderhold | 2 septembre 2010

You forgot to mention superconductive coils.

Roblab | 3 septembre 2010

Sorry, don't mean to irritate.
I owned an EV for 6 years, and it was plug in inductive. You still had to plug in, because the tolerances were close, like one eighth inch coil to coil. Losses were not large. Conductive losses are even less.
I guess my problem is that I just can't see worrying about charging in a public parking lot. Unless you are going on a trip, you will be back to your private charger by end of day. We had 100 mile range, drove 40 miles to Costco and back, and Costco had chargers. Never used them. Didn't need them. Home electricity at night was far cheaper than what public charging will be, and I betcha you will just drive on home. All these bells and whistles charging methods will cost you, and I betcha again, people won't see the value. Fancy chargers ideas will die before they are built. If you build them, they will come, is not always true.

RonaldA | 6 septembre 2010

Here's a concept, how about an inductive coil on the bottom of the car near the road and indi=uctive coils in the surface of interstate highways. This way long distance enough inductive current could go to the car at speed to overcome friction and the battery would only really be drained for local use. Goodbye to short range issues and waiting for charge in cross country trips.

Brian H | 6 septembre 2010

TANSTAAFL = "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch".

Or erg.

Timo | 7 septembre 2010

Well, RonaldA suggestion wouldn't be "Free Lunch" but it isn't entirely bonkers either. If you can use tesla coils to send electricity 75% efficiently at one meter away you could build such freeway that you don't use much (any?) power from the battery itself.

Cost of that would be quite enormous though. And energy losses would be rather high too.

rglossin | 30 avril 2019

Nine years later and where are we?

RedShift | 30 avril 2019

My friends company has done that.

blue adept | 2 mai 2019


Far too great of a vehicular and roadway infrastructural investment would be required to make the technology even remotely feasible, rendering it too impractical of an enterprise to pursue on a scale that would make it viable as a reasonable alternative to current BEV technology, and that's not even taking into consideration the impact of the electromagnetic interference on surrounding commercial and residential technologies, people and animals, not to mention the logistics that would be involved with the powering of such a service.

Could it be done?

Yes, of course, had it been implemented at the dawn of the installation of our transportation facilities, but to retrofit everything required to make it workable is too impractical to even consider.

blue adept | 2 mai 2019