New York City locals will likely snicker at the thought of unusual stuff going on in Washington Square Park, but one company is proposing something unusual that would actually be a positive thing. And legal.

New York-based Hevo Power is proposing using manhole covers as wireless charging systems for electric vehicles, and tells Wired it'll start running a pilot program in Washington Square Park next year. Hevo is proposing a system that would use "resonance" charging, as opposed to the inductive charging systems that are de rigueur for many other wireless charging systems. With resonance charging, electricity is conducted not through an electromagnetic field but through resonance at a specific frequency, which Hevo says is more efficient than induction and can charge EVs faster.

Hevo says its Level 2 charging system will have three parts: an in-street power station (i.e., the part that looks like a manhole cover), an on-board receiver and a smartphone app that can be used to locate the system and start the charging process. Hevo says it has signed up New York University and its fleet of Smart Fortwo electric vehicles for the demonstration program and is talking to companies such as PepsiCo and Walgreens for broader, fleetwide charging systems.

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