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HEVO to Test Wireless Electric-Vehicle Power Stations in 2014

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Oct. 21, 2013—HEVO Power, a company focused on the charging process of electric vehicles, plans to roll out a pilot program of wireless-charging stations in New York in 2014.

The study, as reported in Computerworld, will equip manhole covers in New York City’s Washington Square Park with wireless-charging technology. The manholes are positioned in designated parking areas near streetside curbs. Electric vehicles can then park over them, and begin charging their batteries through wireless receivers on the vehicles.

Partnering with New York University on the project, HEVO will use two wirelessly equipped Smart Fortwo electric cars to test the practicality and efficiency of the systems.

According to Gregory Stahl, HEVO’s chief marketing officer, two other cities—Santa Monica, Calif., and San Francisco—have also expressed interest in hosting tests for 2014 but no commitments have been made.

The HEVO pilot program is the latest in a trend of technology companies working to develop more practical and efficient charging methods for elective and hybrid-electric vehicles. In teh Computerworld report, it stated that the current number of fast-charging stations established worldwide is roughly 1,800, but that number is expected to reach 199,000 by 2020.

One of the biggest roadblocks to the widespread of electric vehicles is the typical four-hour period it takes to charge a standard electric-vehicle battery but a new technology, fast-charging systems with high-voltage DC charging, is pushing that problem aside. In theory, a fast-charging station can fully charge a vehicle in as little as 20 minutes.

The wireless stations are not without faults, however. Alastair Hayfield, associate research director at IHS Automotive, told Computerworld that the magnetic coil charging system needed for wireless charging capabilities adds weight and cost to the vehicle. The wireless charging also loses power in the transferring process. Computerworld reported that Stahl said the HEVO wireless stations have a power transfer efficiency of more than 85 percent at 12 inches separation which some experts say is still too low.

For more information on HEVO and its work in the electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, visit hevopower.com.

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