WiTricity, IHI Corporation and Mitsubishi have teamed up for a research and develop programme designed to help make wireless charging a reality for electric car users.

It is hoped that the collaboration will advance the development of a real-world ‘out of the box’ solution for businesses and individuals which will make recharging electric cars a simpler and more convenient experience.

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A suitable system would also be able to be installed in shopping centre parking lots and other public places as well as private homes.

A wireless recharging system for electric cars uses inductive charging, where the electric current is passed without physical contact between a transmitter pad fitted in the ground to a receiver pad fitted to the car. Charging can occur automatically when the car is parked over the transmitter and does not even require perfect alignment between the two pads, making it super-easy to use.

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WiTricity has already developed and brought to market its patented magnetic resonance wireless charging system. The system that WiTricity has developed, more advanced than some early prototypes, can deliver up to 3.3 kW of charging power over distance of 20cm (almost 8 inches) at an efficiency rate of more than 90 per cent.

The new project will seek to clarify legal issues with the new technology and create proposals for rules governing such systems. It will also seek to find the the most appropriate and easiest ways of incorporating wireless charging systems into EV charging infrastructure and test the systems using Mitsubishi EVs fitted with power charging receptors internally.

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Mitsubishi already has an electric car for sale in markets around the world, including the UK. The i-MiEV is priced from £23,990 including a £5,000 plug-in car grant and has a range of around 90 miles to a charge and a top speed of 80mph.

Mr. Osamu Masuko, President of Mitsubishi added: "Like we have done with promotion and education of electric vehicle infrastructure such as quick-chargers and being involved with "smart grid" technology, we are happy to enter into a new phase of electric vehicle infrastructure development. I am confident we can be a major contributor along with WiTricity and IHI to quickly make widespread wireless charging for electric vehicles a reality."

Source: International Business Times, by Faye Sunderland, September 27th, 2011