Most commonly, the way we find electric vehicle charging stations are the traditional [are they old enough to be called traditional?] post-and-plug type in an electric vehicle parking space.
With this type of electric vehicle charging station, you get out of your car, most likely swipe a card or RFID fob to enable charging, and then plug in your vehicle. New York City is decidedly the home of the impossible-to-find parking spot, so I can imagine that electric vehicle parking spaces are even more rare, but what if electric vehicle chargers were disguised as something else?
Jeremy McCool, CEO and founder of HEVO Power [Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Optimization], had exactly that idea when he saw a manhole cover in the Big Apple. Everything in NYC is underground, including gas, electric, cable, phone, and water, among other things, which makes McCool’s idea so interesting. HEVO Power is a wireless electric vehicle charging system that could change the way we think about plugging in, mostly because there is no plug.
Wireless electric vehicle chargers have been in testing in various places, such as in the UK and Germany, where diesel bus lines have been changing over to electric buses. Unlike the typical electric vehicle, these buses travel specific routes. Switching over to electric means that placing charging stations is convenient, simply buried in the pavement where the bus makes regular stops, topping off the battery packs when the bus comes to a stop over the pad.
HEVO Power envisions route vehicles, such as delivery vehicles run by PepsiCo, Walgreen’s, or City Harvest, switching over to electric power, recharging over wireless electric vehicle charging stations disguised as manhole covers. All the electrical stuff is underground, there are no posts and no plugs, and all relevant information is transmitted and controlled by smartphone app.
HEVO Power is currently in talks with these companies regarding its new technology application. They will be rolling out an LII/10kW trial system, in 2014, in Washington Square Park, with a pair of Smart ForTwo ED [electric drive] run by NYU.
Image © HEVO Power