BY PETER BACQUÉ Richmond Times-Dispatch : Monday, January 6, 2014 12:00 am LINK
Richmond’s Evatran Group Inc. will begin shipments of its Plugless electric vehicle charging system this month, the company announced today.
The system is the first wireless vehicle charger available to individual electric vehicle drivers, the company said.
“Since the beginning of our company, we have focused on bringing this convenient charging technology to individual EV drivers,” said Rebecca Hough, Evatran’s CEO and co-founder. “After years of trials with commercial and municipal partners, … we’re excited to announce that the time has come.”
Evatran is offering the first 250 buyers a 30 percent discount off the price of the Plugless system, Hough said. “We’re proud to invite our first 250 customers to join us in making history.”
The Plugless system is compatible with Chevrolet Volt models and 2010-12 Nissan Leaf model years, the company said.
Under the introductory promotion, Evatran will sell a system for Volt models for $1,998 and the Leaf system for $2,098. The suggested manufacturer’s price for the system is about $3,000, Hough said.
The company will add vehicles and model years in early 2014, Evatran said in a statement.
The Plugless system is an alternative to using cords to charge electric vehicles, and charging is as quick as plug-in systems. Drivers also can use their vehicles’ existing charge-timers and phone applications with the Plugless system.
Evatran will deliver the 250 systems as part of the promotional program from February through May, based on the customer’s order date.
The company will limit deliveries to the discount program for the first five months of production, it said, and put additional orders on a waiting list for delivery starting in June.
The Plugless system includes an adapter for the vehicle model and a charging station for installation in the user’s garage or parking space.
The station is paired to the user’s vehicle and directs the driver into correct alignment when it senses the vehicle within 50 feet. Once the user turns off the vehicle, the system automatically begins charging.
Evatran has an agreement with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions to support installation of the Plugless charging system nationwide. The company has installed more than 30 trial systems with partners that include Google, Duke Energy and Hertz. Currently, the system is available only in the U.S.
“Over the coming year, we may consider launching products for other markets,” Hough said, “but this is not currently in our launch plan for 2014.”
Compared with vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, the U.S. Department of Energy said, electric vehicles are more energy-efficient and produce no tailpipe pollution. Conversely, it said, electric vehicles have shorter driving ranges than conventional autos, recharging can take 4 to 8 hours, and battery packs are expensive to replace.
Reposted from the Richmond Times Dispatch – http://www.timesdispatch.com/ – Peter Bacque