Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eliminating range anxiety in Electric Cars

The ultimate cure for the “range anxiety” that afflicts electric car drivers worried they’ll run out of juice mid-trip could come when road-embedded wireless charging strips power up cars as they motor down the highway.

HaloIPT, a London-based developer of cable-free charging systems, took a small step in that direction yesterday, as it signed an agreement with another UK company, Chargemaster plc, to manufacture HaloIPT’s wireless transmitting pads.

On the surface, the deal is not huge- Chargemaster will make “dozens” of charging pads, according to a joint press release. But the “strategic partnership” is significant because it calls for Chargemaster to help develop and deploy a wireless charging infrastructure and billing system in Britain.

Chargemaster is already the largest provider of cabled charging bays in the UK, where it has installed posts in parking lots, supermarkets and other public spaces. It has done the same across Europe, where it has about 500 charging posts. It should be a key ally for HaloIPT, a company owned by international engineering firm Arup, by the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and by Australian venture capital firm Trans-Tasman Commercialization.

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