Sears and wireless electric vehicle charging station maker Evatran have reached an agreement for Sears' home-installation division to distribute and install Evatran's Plugless Power stations.

The agreement allows Evatran to sell its stations at a single price in which both the product and installation will be inclusive. Upon receiving a request for a Plugless Power station, Sears will contact the customer within one business day and will make the necessary pre-installation visits to ensure that the customer's home has the necessary equipment for the charging station. Sears and Evatran will initially tailor the product and installation services for owners of Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicles and Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicles this year.

Evatran and Sears are banking on both increased plug-in vehicle sales and a larger number of customers seeking the convenience of having EV charging stations that don't require a cord. Globally, revenue generated from wireless chargers specifically for electric vehicles will increase to about $1.5 billion in 2020 from a negligible amount in 2011, green technology research firm Pike Research said in a report released in late 2010.

Last June, Evatran and Yazaki North America – a Tier 1 automotive supplier that specializes in electrical distribution systems and connectivity solutions – signed a joint development agreement aimed at quickly commercializing Plugless Power technology. Under terms of the agreement, Evatran and Yazaki are teaming up to complete the development of a hands-free charging system to be used in residential, commercial and industrial applications. Evatran has been looking to pitch its Plugless Power technology to automakers as either a factory- or dealer-installed option. The Plugless Power system utilizes induction technology to transfer up to 3.3 kilowatts of power at efficiencies of up to 90 percent, allowing plug-in vehicles to recharge as quickly as they would with some Level 2 conductive (wired) chargers.

Meanwhile, tech giant Qualcomm last November acquired U.K.-based wireless charger maker HaloIPT and said it would start London's first wireless electric-vehicle charging station trial this year in a project that will support as many as 50 electric vehicles. Other companies that are entering the wireless-charger market include smaller companies like Massachusetts-based WiTricity as well as tech giant Siemens AG. That company last fall began testing its wireless chargers on BMW's ActiveE electric vehicles.

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Evatran™ Teams Up With Sears Home Services for the Installation of Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Sears Home Services nationwide installation network to supply station installation with residential and commercial Plugless Power™ wireless charging systems

Sears Home Services, the residential and commercial installation arm of Sears Holdings, today announced its installation agreement with Evatran, the leading developer of wireless charging systems for electric vehicles. This agreement ensures that purchasers of the Plugless Power system will have access to reliable home and commercial equipment installation through a brand they trust.

Plugless Power systems, which offer the ultimate in convenience and simplicity, recharge electric vehicles (EVs) as quickly as traditional corded options and require the same electrical installation inside a customer's home. Sears Home Service's long history in completing appliance, HVAC and electronics installations ensures that each Plugless Power system is installed with the highest regard to user safety and convenience.

Benefits offered to Plugless Power customers through the agreement include:

Simplified Purchasing: Evatran will offer Plugless Power systems with optional basic or standard home installation wrapped into the purchase price of the equipment; this full price may be included in the vehicle purchase or lease at the time of sale.
Pre-Installation Site Visits: Site visits, as necessary to quote non-standard and commercial installations, will be completed in advance of installations.
Timely Installation: Sears will receive automatic notification of a customer's installation request; Sears will contact the customer within one business day of equipment purchase to schedule home installation.
Convenient Additional Services: Sears will offer ongoing service and maintenance to Plugless Power owners.

Sears installation network technicians will be trained and certified on the wireless charging systems and will work with Evatran to structure a comprehensive launch plan for aftermarket systems throughout 2012. Product offerings will initially focus on Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf models but will quickly expand to include additional electric vehicles. Installation will be offered with the sale of each Plugless Power system and priced based on the customer's home and current electrical service. Sears will also offer commercial installation for electric vehicle fleet owners and managers.

"Sears is very excited to announce this agreement with Evatran to support the installation and servicing of these stations. Sears' unparalleled commitment to our customers and many quality service offerings make us a natural fit to facilitate this progressive technology. We look forward to being one of the leaders in this growing industry," stated Stu Reed , SVP and President, Home Services at Sears Holdings.

Aftermarket systems will be available for installation starting in 2012 for Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt models. A specific geographic rollout plan will be announced next year with final installation pricing for basic and standard home installations.

Timothy Briggs , CFO of Evatran, communicated the company's excitement for this announcement: "This agreement allows Evatran to deliver on our vision of enabling electric vehicle adoption through the continued focus on making our customers' lives easier. With each Plugless Power system purchase, our customers can feel confident they will receive timely service and quality workmanship from a company they have trusted with their home installations for years."

About Evatran

Plugless Power™, developed by Evatran™, is the first electric vehicle (EV) charging system on the market to offer customers a simple way to charge their EVs with the ease of hands-free technology. Utilizing inductive power transfer, which has been used in electrical transformers for more than 100 years, Plugless Power streamlines the charging of electric vehicles by eliminating the cord and the plug. In addition to aftermarket distribution, Evatran is currently working with automotive manufacturers to integrate the Plugless Power technology into mass-market EVs and signed a Joint Development Agreement with Yazaki North America, a major Tier 1 automotive supplier in May 2011 . For more information, visit www.pluglesspower.com.

About Sears Roebuck and Co.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD - News), is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,700 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada , which includes over 890 Full-line and more than 1,350 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at www.sears.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Marco, I agree that there is nothing wrong with people being able to have the choices they want. I hope (that phrase again) these choices may actually increase interest and uptake in EVs. I was simply stating a fear that it might have the opposite effect, especially in the short term. By today's standards, Henry Ford was NUTS: "You can have any color you want as long as it's black". But considering where the industry was at the time, it worked out pretty well. Are we at the point where "you can only have black" or are we able to do whatever color of the rainbow you want already? I'm certainly not claiming to know and frankly Don wasn't either. He was simply relating what has happened so far. And his background is engineering. He ran the entire program for Georgia Power so he's not really speaking of what happened as an engineer but rather what happened to the program as the person who administered it.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Dave D and LTAW. Gentlemen! What the....? How could two perfectly reasonable guys, misunderstand each other so completely? Dave D:, LTW was not being condescending toward you personally, but rather to a perceived concept. (The key is that is opposing opinion was couched in the form of a question, easily answered by clarification! ) LTW,: Dave D was merely relating a viewpoint from an industry insider. (The Key to his remark is "I hope....") . Personally, I like the idea of inductive charging. I can understand how it would prove a complicated distraction to a utilities engineer, but too bad! There will always be these conflicts between marketing/sales people and engineers. This is not intended to disparage Don Francis, whom I am sure is a very competent and able engineer with a sincere and practical viewpoint. I am simply saying that what appeals to a logical engineer, may not appeal to the imagination of the general public ! LTW, Dave D has a point. the non-standardisation of charging can and will be divisive, however I'm sure technology can be developed to accommodate both, but even if it is divisive, so what? Not every consumer has to be equal ! Now, what's holding EZEE up with those beers?
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a waste of time and money. "seeking the convenience of having EV charging stations that don't require a cord"?!! 1st solve the inconvenience of not having level 3 DC fast chargers all over the US.. ..and forget about wireless convenience.. EV drivers need DC fast chargers, not slow level 2 or slower level 1 or wireless level 2 whatever. That is easily done with charging from evening to morning. How many level 3 DC fast chargers are there in California? Two? All this money for wireless level 2 whatever should be going to build level 3 DC fast charging all over the US. Wireless level 2 charging will never help EV adoption. Only level 3 DC fast charging can help EV adoption. I'm beginning to wonder weather the ongoing delay of level 3 DC fast charger installations is purposely done to kill EV adoption in the US. What a waste. ff
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        I see how much YOU care about relationships. Neil Cavuto himself predicted skyrocketing divorce rates because one or the other in a marriage forgot to plug the car in!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Amazing! Great to know, that they plan to implement a wireless solution. Another disadvantage, even small but would be eliminated. Drivers would not have to plug-in anymore. Hope to see it worldwide soon. Find your charging station. http://www.evmaps.info
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very cool. I wonder what the price point will be. It looks slick.
        MTN RANGER
        • 3 Years Ago
        Price is around $3000 according to their website. However, one can buy a SPX 240V Voltec EVSE for $490. Hard to justify the cost difference.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MTN RANGER
          "Available through SPX, the Voltec™ 240V home charging station can recharge the Volt’s battery in about 4 hours ― less than half the time required by standard outlet. Priced at $490 (around $1,500 installed), it is also designed to be affordable." http://www.spx.com/en/plugged-in/ Is the SPX wireless? It doesn't seem to be, and that may justify the additional cost for some buyers.
          MTN RANGER
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MTN RANGER
          My point is that who is going to spend 10X as much for wireless and lose on efficiency? It takes longer for my garage door to open than it does to plug or unplug my car.
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      So they have some part that matches the charging station which is installed in the car as well? The Leaf and Volt don't come with any inductive charging abilities so they have to be installing something in the car as well.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Thanks for the info and links Dave. I was not being lazy so much as just really busy and not having time to read things through the last week or two. LTAW, You're right, I didn't realize this was an aftermarket product which could not possibly cause any standards confusion. Only good could come from this as it gives people more options to deal with their charging. Also, I do apologize for being so aggressive and attacking you down below. I get frustrated because you always assume I'm stupid or that I am implying something negative when I'm not. I was never "mad" because someone had options, I was simply asking a question as to whether wireless charging might be causing more standards to split the market so that everyone could not use the same infrastructure. I simply expressed my *hope* that it was not the case. Again, that was not a reason to attack you and I do apologize for that. As you suggested below, I was to vague in defining what "huge obstacles" were caused by wireless charging earlier. I called Don to ask him for a clarification and he explained that he was referring to paddle type plug-ins which were inductive and competing with traditional conductive plugs directly. They had people who could only use certain charging stations and they had to go back and retrofit the infrastructure to deal with multiple standards. This would clearly have nothing to do with an aftermarket solution like this where the home unit comes with the matching equipment for the car.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Yes, this is an aftermarket system. Considering you didn't realize that, I can understand why you were so concerned that another type of charging system was being unveiled. This aftermarket system complements your EV's charging capabilities, with the addition of a wireless system for use at home, while maintaining the already standard plug which can still be used anywhere else. It's a good system, and I'm happy to see it being marketed by such a large and trusted company as Sears.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Here are the specs: http://www.pluglesspower.com/go-plugless/wireless-ev-charging/how-wireless-charging-works/ As can be seen the components inside the vehicle consist of the vehicle adaptor, electronics module and battery charging connector. And here is is made clear that the 90% efficiency is to the battery charger, so of course you still have whatever losses are inherent in your vehicle charger on top of that: http://www.pluglesspower.com/questions-answers/technical-specifications/efficiency/ And here it is shown that the total weight added to the vehicle is only 10lbs: http://www.pluglesspower.com/questions-answers/technical-specifications/
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lunch buddy? See, that is why you're so damn annoying to talk with. You can't help being condescending can you. This lunch buddy was an engineer at GM for 10 years before doing 31 years at Georgia Power, 20 of which were spent designing and installing EV charging stations. You can't write off someone else's experience by calling them a "lunch buddy". And I never said I was unhappy, that was your assumption. I am simply relaying what his experience has been. Wireless charging seemed like a good idea, but actually just provided yet another set of standards that split the EV population where they could not share the same infrastructure. They had to have more parts, more weight and more expense in each car for the different types of plugs they supported. Did you think that all the coils and equipment to use wireless charging was free? You think it doesn't take up more room and add more weight and cost to the car? You think they can ONLY support just the wireless charging and not the plugs? I don't care if every car uses wireless, or every one uses wired. It is simply a statement of fact that it costs more to support multiple methods. An observation by someone who has lived it and done it for 20 years. Mad? No, I wasn't mad until you started doing your usual hack-job on anything I say. Go back and read my first post now, and see if you can just stick to what I said and not your own assumptions.
      skierpage
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yazaki came up with the SAE J1772 connector, so presumably their connection (ha ha) is making a receptacle that's prewired for the Evatran system. (Evatran says it's compatible with the Leaf and Volt, I don't know if the receptacles in the Volt and Leaf are manufactured by Yazaki.) Otherwise, I'm not sure I want some aftermarket mechanic running additional cables through my car's bodywork and splicing them to existing cables. If people want to spend ~$3000 on this instead of ~$1200 on a wired charger, let them.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @skierpage
        @Skierpage, Like a lot of Automotive accessories, inductive charging isn't really essential for everyone. You are quite right when you point that out. Likewise your fears of incompetent aftermarket installation has merit. However, consider the long,long list of Automotive 'extras which have over time become not only standard features ,but mandatory. Starting with Cadillac's 1913 Electric Self Starter to automatic transmissions, electric windows, power steering, two tail lights, offside wing mirrors, ABS, Radial tyres, the list is endless. Some of these items are purely for comfort and convenience, others enabled everyone to operate a vehicle. Most of these items started out as expensive 'options', later became standard features. I think inductive charging will be the same.
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm of two minds about this one: 1) I'd never pay $5,000 for this as it loses an additional ~10% compared to plugging in a traditional plug and I'm that cheap about wasting the energy. 2) I will gladly pay for my girlfriend's car to have this so that every time she pulls into the garage, it just magically charges. Why? Because she can't remember to plug in her iPhone or her Mac Book Air, hardly EVER, and I would gladly pay the $5,000 to avoid having to come get her on the side of the road every other week. :-)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Cost will hopefully come down considering the technology that goes into inductive transmission of electricity is over 100 years old (shout out to Nikola Tesla 1901). For your girlfriend, furniture builders are starting to integrate inductive hotspots in tabletops, nightstands (Qi standard) for iPhones with inductive sleeves, inductive charging exists for ipads (called iPort), not sure if there is anything out there for macbooks. Hopefully a standard will develop (like beta/vhs, bluray hd-dvd, html5, etc) that can be easily integrated.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Considering that Nissan was making everyone buy their $2,000 level II charger, this is quite a good deal if it's $3,000...assuming you can opt out of the Nissan option now.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Hi Dave. Evatran reckon they can do this for about $3,000. See my link to their release on this down thread.
      theflew
      • 3 Years Ago
      They need to make these price competitive to the current EVSEs since it's not difficult or hard to just plug you car in. The only thing this provides is a little more convenience. Granted this would be a mess after a winter in the midwest when snow, ice and salt would be all over this thing.
        Ryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @theflew
        I live in the midwest, they aren't marketing this to us. If you live in the Sunny Southwest, and you can attach something to your EV as an aftermarket or factory option to allow you to use this, then go for it.
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wouldn't do a deal with any Sears contractor. Main reason, after they ****** up my parents new heater/ac install 7-8 years ago I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole. I had to go back and spend 4 hours and 500 dollars to fix their ******* up 5 years later. Yea, don't deal with sears they don't background check their contractors, they charge too much and ultimately, they **** up the install. I'd rather deal with Home Depot who has lately shown me great services like never before. They'll even service **** they installed under a different vendor 6 years ago. It's fantastic.
        MTN RANGER
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        It really doesn't matter if it was Sears or HD. Both companies subcontract this stuff out anyway.
          Kevin Gregerson
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MTN RANGER
          Home Depot At least is willing to service the customer afterwards and they will pay for a company to come out there and fix it, and, they require that all people visiting a customers home have a full background check in order to get a home depot vendor badge. 3k fine per person onsite who doesn't have the badge. It may sound lame but having to fix something later on and getting service for something that should have been done right in the first place makes a difference to me as a customer. Sears told me to basically **** off. Never again will I recommend Sears or even kenmore products because of this. Sears **** belongs in the trash because of this.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      "By today's standards, Henry Ford was NUTS: "You can have any color you want as long as it's black". That's a myth. Ford never said that; Fords were available in an array of colors. 1. "You can't write off someone else's experience by calling them a "lunch buddy". " > I never *wrote*off his experience - and I'm sorry you aren't comfortable with me referring to you relationship with him as a friendly one. I've got lots of "lunch buddies" that I discuss a wide range of topics with; indeed, the reasons we get together for lunch is to bounce ideas around with people who know what they're talking about. My point is, his experience from 20 years ago attempting create an overarching standard has no relation to my decision to implement a specific tech in my own home. It would be like an Apple guy complaining about how hard it was to create a codec (Apple lossless) that everyone could use - and here I (and a majority of serious music listeners) am using FLAC. How dare I not respect his experience and use a different tech for my own personal application! 2. You're the one being offensively aggressive, Dave D. "Jump off a cliff" "Smartass" "...simply shut up" "Damn annoying" If you react that way when I express an opinion, well - get help. My post was nowhere near requiring that sort of abusive reply. I apologize if you thought my opinion was somehow challenging your friend's authority. Marco - "LTW, Dave D has a point. the non-standardisation of charging can and will be divisive, however I'm sure technology can be developed to accommodate both, but even if it is divisive, so what? Not every consumer has to be equal!" Thanks. Before Dave flew off the handle at me - I never said anything to contradict his point that non-standardization slowed things down 20 years ago, and could do the same today. I simply asserted my opinion - as have you - that it is nice to have a wide variety of market options available to me the consumer. Inductive charging will arrive. There will be many different inductive charging systems available, no doubt. As a consumer, I'm happy to read that Sears - a major marketer and installer - will be offering such a product! It might not be suitable for large-scale nation-wide *standardized* installations - but it doesn't have to be. If it works for me as a single consumer - then they might make the sale. Of course, it could happen for a single consumer thousands or millions of times, too... I'd also suggest that market conditions were drastically different 20 years ago, and that someone's expertise from that era might not be applicable to today's situation. Lessons learned, yes, but the market is much more flexible now due to a greater volume of EVs available. Not everybody has to have the same type of charger in their own personal garage; as long as the keep the standard plug that comes with the vehicle they will be able to use standard chargers in public.
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