Google First to Install Wireless EV Chargers

Plugless PowerLike smartphones, inductive charging is coming to the nascent electric car market and Google is on the forefront of using the technology. The company announced it is the first to use a new type of wireless charging, which will be installed at the internet company’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

The stations, called Plugless Power, use inductive power transfer to wirelessly transmit energy from the grid to the electric car’s battery pack.

Unfortunately, your Chevrolet Volt, Tesla or Nissan Leaf won’t work with the wireless charging stations right off the bat. If you want to utilize the convenience tool, you’ll have to pay up for the adapter, but the company doesn’t reveal the cost.

It’s certainly more convenient than having to plug in your EV, but inductive charging isn’t as efficient. The company expects a less than 10% efficiency loss with wireless charging.

Google has multiple low-speed electric vehicles for use around its campus, and the company is in the process of retrofitting one of those vehicles with inductive adapters.

The Evatran, maker of the Plugless Power stations, plans on bringing the technology to the mass market by 2012.

Google Installs Wireless EV Charging Station (Autopia)

By Colin Bird | March 22, 2011 | Comments (13)


Bob Wallace

See that thing in front of the parting space that looks sort of like a gas pump?

Imagine that we attach an arm to it, an arm which can move in three directions - up/down, right/left, and in/out. And we put a EV plug on the end of the arm.

Now when someone parks in the space they can push a button on their dash, the door covering their EV plug opens and a signal is sent to the "pump".

The arm plugs into the EV, the battery is charged without the 10% power loss from an inductive system.

Don't you think we could build those arms for less than the ~$4,000 the inductive chargers will cost?

Ted H

Instead of attaching the arm to that gas pump looking thing, what if that "arm" was attached to your body? And you just walk your body up to the gas pump looking thing (assuming your body has legs attached to it of course). Then you can use your "arm" contraption to grab the charging cable, and then pull it over to the charging port on your car, and plug it in?

Maybe this idea is too technologically advanced right now. Someday though...


You guys are dreamers. Inductive charging is the future.

I'd like to have wireless charging set up in my garage!

Matt C

@ Ted

You are funny like clown. You make me laugh.

I gotta think there will be more than a 10% loss of efficiency. Not having wires to transmit the power directly and depending on waves I gotta figure at least a 40% loss.

Well put, Ted. I haven't looked into this yet, but I find the 10 percent a bit hard to believe, too. Even if this system is capable of charging at the same rate as a wired connector, at minimum this means the providers are paying more for electricity than they would otherwise. Seems a non-starter for home use, though I guess there are plenty of lazy people who would happily pay more for increased current supply to their garages rather than pick up a cord and plug it in every time they come home.


Inductive charging elminates shock hazard, and is very efficient. Ever hear of a transformer? it operates on the same principle and is very efficient. There's nowhere near 40 percent losses. Is there an electrical engineer out there who can weigh in?

Troy S.

This technology reminds me of Nikola Tesla.

Matt C.

@ Cardoor

Most transformers are self contained units that take more voltage and turn it into less. This wireless charging is not self contained and you are increasing the variables. As far as shock danger, take care of you cords and there will never be a danger of being shocked.


Rather than build on under a parking spot, build a continuous one under all the roads. Infinite range EV! :)

Max Reid


I think they can install wired chargers which can be used by Leaf, Volt, upcoming Focus.

This will allow the EV users to charge their car during the day and go home in EV mode instead of gas.

Soon, other companies will follow the same in their parking lots.

Infact, slow charger will do as most cars can be fully charged in 8 hours that an employee parks their vehicle.

Brilliant idea! But what about the safety requirement! it should be satisfy all criteria. thanks for sharing!

I follow you VIA GFC and I love your blog!

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App