Could 2016 be the year prospective Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid buyers are waiting for? Why, yes, says an unidentified Toyota spokesman. That's according to Plug-in Cars, which reports that a wireless plug-in vehicle charging system may be less than two years away for the Prius Plug-in.

WiTricity has, for a few years, been developing its magnetic resonance wireless charging system for the model. This type of system allows for more distance leeway than other wireless setups when it comes to how close the car and its on-board receiver need to be to the floor-mounted system. That allows for smaller, lighter on-board receivers, which is key for any plug-in vehicle. Toyota spokeswoman Jana Hartline confirmed in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen that the company has conducted wireless charging tests in Japan "with hopes to bring that technology to market in the near future" but declined to provide more detail on the company's plans to offer wireless charging for plug-ins.

Toyota's Satoshi Ogiso said last summer that the Prius Plug-in would eventually offer a wireless charging system in response to prospective customers' demand for it, though he wasn't specific on a time frame. Toyota started discussions with WiTricity regarding wireless charging system development more than three years ago and said late last year that it had reached a licensing agreement with the Boston-based company. WiTricity has also worked on developing wireless-charging systems that are compatible with Audi and Mitsubishi vehicles. WiTricity grew out of MIT back in 2007, back when we could barely imagine how it would work.


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  • 33 Comments
      jthomas35712
      • 5 Months Ago
      I wonder if there is a way they could have 2 (or perhaps 4) places under an electric car where wireless electricity could go into different parts of the battery. That way it could charge up maybe 4 times faster. More wireless I/O hardware = faster charging? That would be a dream come true. Just pull into your garage, stop at just the right spot and the wireless charger(s) kick in automatically and do a complete charge in the same or less time as it takes to fill up an internal combustion engine car gasoline tank. Come on electric car companies. Get er done! Make it so ... like Captain Picard used to say on Star Trek. :)
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @jthomas35712
        Not really... there are limitations on how fast AC charging can be done.... Even with the Tesla Model S... 16.8 kW is as much power as you can put into the EV using AC. Any higher, and you should be looking at DC Fast Chargers. AC comes out of your outlets at 60 hz (50 hz elsewhere)... and if wireless charging is used, must then be turned up to several hundreds or thousands of hz... then back down to the onboard AC charger in the EV. Having several of these would likely be ridiculously expensive, take up space that could be used for more batteries... and ultimately be wasted.
          • 2 Hours Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Not exactly true. In europe AC fast charging is quickly becoming a thing. They utilize 450v 3phase. The chargers are just starting out. You can get a smart with a 17kw onboard unit already. Just give it time and it has the ability to rival dc direct charging.
      JB
      • 5 Months Ago
      Sounds like a efficiency kill.
      Bernard
      • 5 Months Ago
      Just wait until the first geezer with a pacemaker rolls over one of those.
      Dean Hammond
      • 5 Months Ago
      When A) it saves 15 seconds and adds an exorbident additional cost....AND isnt as efficient....people are SO wrapped up in the latest and gre4atest they lose sight of the fact sometimes the simplest answer happens to be the best...so you are welcome to spend the additional $ for "bragging rights" when it comes to the latest technology, Televisions are a classic...Panasonic released their last line of Plazmas to universal plaudits, and despite having a superior picture and being half the price of the latest Samsung LEDS...have now gone the way of the Dodo....people get caught uip in fanfare and trends, which are NOT necessarily for the better...but sure makes some manufacturers some serious coin...lets not get started on Computers and Phones....almost monthly replacements...
      BipDBo
      • 5 Months Ago
      The plug-in Prius doesn't need to ditch the plug. It needs usable range, power and top speed in EV mode as well as a price that's competitive.
      Ryan
      • 5 Months Ago
      What customers want is a cheaper, universal standard for chargers (J1772 for level 2). And chargers that work 99.999% of the time. And are 10 cents a kWh or a few pennies over what the electric rate is, if there is a fee at all.
      Actionable Mango
      • 5 Months Ago
      Normally I wouldn't bother with an "I told you so" post, but every time I said people would want this, you guys gave me an awful lot of crap for it, so I'm making an exception this time. You told me it costs more, weighs more, and was inefficient. That's all true, absolutely. I can't contest any of those points. But the thing is, none of that actually matters, because convenience sells. People are lazy. But more than laziness, there's also a reliability factor. Ever forget to charge something up? I have. With wireless charging all you have to do is park the car. You'll never wake up in the morning to realize you forgot to plug in the night before and thus can't get to work. That can be invaluable in itself.
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        dont forget...post its are your friend.....lol....and Im the WORST!
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Convenience sells... but at what price? It is convenient to hire a butler and maid... but do NOT assume that the there is a substantial market for the middle class to hire them. Yes, people forget. But why on Earth would anyone want to spend thousands for something a $1 app could do??? All modern EVs will be able to complain about being neglected, if you forget to plug in. Even a simple option for an audible warning every minute (EV honks horn) if it detects the presence of a nearby EVSE via bluetooth (few dollars), but hasn't been plugged in by a specified time.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 5 Months Ago
      The car has such a wimpy battery pack the inefficiency losses when charging won't even be noticed but they would be much more noticeable in a large pack.
      Dean Hammond
      • 5 Months Ago
      witness the relentless pursuit of making life more complex and expensive with un-necessary costly gimmics....
        Car Guy
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        Wireless charging is a gimmick? I suppose corded telephones plugged into the wall are far superior to cell phones as well..........
          BipDBo
          • 2 Hours Ago
          @Car Guy
          cell phones vs corded is not an apt comparison. You should ask about cordless cell phone charging vs corded charging. Cordless cell phone charging has been available for quite some time, but has it become popular. No. Just a gimmick that very few people have bought.
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Hours Ago
          @Car Guy
          @Carguy, yeah, the 3 seconds irt takes me to plug in my phone is a severe inconvienience as well...pffffffffffft!
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Hours Ago
          @Car Guy
          sorry, I thought you were referring to the cordless charging stations for phones...and trust me, if I could do without a cell phone i would, but world never stops.....
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        yeah, because plugging in a car takes what?.....15 seconds.....?.......
          graphikzking
          • 2 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          if it only takes 15 seconds, assuming you plug it in each day, and unplug it each day. That is 30 seconds per day. Doesn't sound like much. Now 30 seconds x 365 days a year /2 = 91 minutes a year. If you make $40 an hour that's a cost of $60.60 per year in time. Even at $20 / hour = $30.30 per year costs. I'd love wireless charging so I don't have to wrap up another cord every time I go in/out of the garage. I could have a hanging cord and pull it down like I do with my compressor but I already have 2 garage door openers plugged into the ceiling, an air compressor cable coming down and a heavy duty extension cord. Now I need to plug a 5th thing up there? My ceiling will have cables hanging all over. Plus the fact my wife wouldn't be able to reach it if I make it high enough to not hit my head every time I walk by it.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          @ graphikzking --"I'd love wireless charging so I don't have to wrap up another cord" Well, since a wireless charger would need to be installed into the floor of the garage, and the cable run from there... why not save money and make a permanent cable run from the EVSE to either a pedastal, or as you said, an overhead spool. Autoblog Comments Enhancer (ACE) v0.9.7 - bit.ly/Autoblog_Comments
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          issue is at what cost?...Im not so wrapped up in losing 30 seconds a day if it saves me thousands....I personally would simplify the wiring of your Garage ceiling....and perhaps install a car charger on the wall adjacent to where the plug in is usually stationed...course, jack hammering your garaghe floor to install wireless, may be asimpler option correct?....WOW is all I can say, all to save a couple of minutes....crazy how important questionable convienience has become...
        Car Guy
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        Why are you against progress?
      josephdennie
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hmmmm, sounds good, now get that new toyota prius on the road because i want a 60 mpg car....im tired of waiting ...
      Ziv
      • 5 Months Ago
      I am too stupid to plug my car in and losing an additional 10-20% of the electricity to line loss is a small price to pay for being lazy! Sarc/
      Car Guy
      • 5 Months Ago
      Give me an EV with wireless charging, 300 mile range, and a 30-35K price tag and I'll finally get interested.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Hours Ago
        @Car Guy
        So would you pay $5000 extra for the wireless part alone? Quantify exactly how much you would pay for this?
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