back to article Nissan ponders Pré-like cordless charging for e-cars

Along with its plans to sell a leccy car to World+Dog, Nissan now reckons it has cracked the problem of wireless e-car charging. Well, almost. According to reports, Nissan has lashed up an electromagnetic inductive charging system in a prototype of the new e-car it plans to unveil later this year. Sadly, Nissan is keeping …

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Boffin

Unbelievable

The Guardian's report of the same news points out that electric toothbrushes already use this cordless charging technology.

Might I perhaps be the first to point out that a toothbrush might need a few milliwatts for charging, whereas charging an electric car's batteries needs multiple kilowatts - maybe a million times as much as the toothbrush.

There's no way cordless charging scales up like that, but so long as it gets free PR for Toyota or whoever, who cares.

(Yes I know it's Nissan. Just don't want folks to fall for their free PR trick).

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Paris Hilton

Scalextric!

I've got a plan. Convert all the roads into MASSIVE Scalextric lanes. That'll be well cool. Until you come to a corner and spin off and a giant needs to come along and put you back on the track properly.......

Paris, 'cos she's well used to slot racing (fnaar)

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Tesla Coil

A giant Tesla coil in every garage. And an even bigger one in every car park. Please.

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Bronze badge
Stop

M25 would be ideal!

Your car would be able to remain over the charging area for a significant length of time, without any significant battery usage either.

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It'd be like...

...you know, the pit lane in F-Zero.

Ah, sweet memories.

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FAIL

Overhead wires, ala trains

thats the answer!

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Silver badge

Scary field strength

To get any sort of power coupling at that distance you'd have an impressive field. If you modulate the field you could probably do free MRI scans for passengers and nearby pedestrians. Some global warming thrown in, it may well be lacking in the efficiency department.

Of course, if they've found a way to do not do it this way then it's really worth paying attention.

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Thumb Up

ok it sounds silly

but if it can be made to work it is well worth a lot of cost being able to charge as you drive in a leecy car solves almost all of the problems pepol have with these

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Happy

Scaletrix

They should just stick big groves in the road with eletric conductors on them.

It should speed up Evolution to. Lots of Fried Chav's.

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Superconducting magnets

Would be needed to carry the current needed. The magnetic field strength would also presumably be enough to crumple up any thin steel panels nearby like we would a sheet of newspaper, so presumably the bodywork would all need to be glass or carbon fibre.

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Happy

DOC!

Hmm, Cars and electric overhead cables.

Is that to get the 1.21 GW into the flux capacitor by any chance?

Hmmm Happy Days......

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Go

bumper cars

What would be better is a lattice of wires suspended above the roads like the roof of a a bumper cars ride, and give the cars a connector on a stick to link up. In fact, why not just give everyone bumper cars as well! Even kids can drive them, and they're the safest vehicles I've ever been in.

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Efficiency???

Isn't inductive charging ridiculously inefficient?

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FAIL

Maglev without the lev?

I would have thought pulling/pushing the cars along with a magnetic track (a linear motor) would be the most efficient way of propelling a vehicle with remote power, without having to run a high voltage rail in the road. The magnets wouldn't be as powerful as maglev, as you're not lifting the car.

Perhaps if cars had enough onboard power to drive 30 miles on their own leccy source, then once they got on a multi-lane road they are propelled magnetically. Presumably that would reduce the weight of batteries, charging times and motorway accidents (everyone would drive the same speed).

It sounds a daft idea, but if we're in mood for daft ideas...

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Joke

But surely

Have the motor drive the front wheels.

Then have a generator on the rear wheels to recharge the battery as you drive.

Eternal free motoring.

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Flame

Eddie's currants

OK, so the road turns into a giant degausser (leave your tapes at home, Bill), and anything ferrous (watches, hip replacements, er, cars) nearby gets very, very hot. See diagram left for effect.

[BTW, Tesla's vision was more like having one realy big coil in, say, Birmingham (it might make it a bit warmer, I guess)]

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Welcome

Try Cambridge

Cambridge has just (at considerable expense) installed a guided bus system, where the aforesaid magic bus runs on concrete tracks outside the city. Or will run - as usual with this kind of stuff, it's over budget and over deadline. So if they're pumping money into a black hole anyway, what's a few million more between friends? It'd certainly make a good test site anyway.

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Alien

F Zero and wipeout

Who would have though that these games would have predicted the technology of the future?

All we need now is hover cars and a highly OTT speed limit. Say 2000 MPH??

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Gold badge
Happy

@LuMan

That occurred to me and it's not such a silly idea once you get the whole slot-car thing out of the way for a bit.

If you were to have charging coils under the roads, the cars could run directly off this. The weight and space saving on the battery pack, as you'd only need a much smaller one to cover the use on sidestreets, would be worth it alone. The traffic planning types would cream their knickers at the idea, 'cos it would force everyone to stop ducking off the main route to avoid traffic.

However, I reckon a long pole with a contact on the top, overhead mesh and big, fat rubber bumpers are the way to go. It'll be much more fun. I call dibs on being the bloke who jumps between them collecting the 50p's while they're running. I always wanted to have a go at that, but my dad wouldn't let me.

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Boffin

Le Titre

Trying to remember some GCSE physics here, but don't you need to move to induct? So you can't just be stuck in a traffic jam, you have to be above some mph threshold?

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WTF?

When electric cars already can barely compete on efficiency...

When electric cars already can barely compete on efficiency how is using a less efficient charging process going to help? Induction is highly wasteful. EOT.

Now if you want to turn our cars into slot racers that might work. I can just see, it, while you are tooling down the highway you lower the pin, with 2 copper braid wipers, into the slot, click the cruise control on, set an alarm clock for your exit, then go to sleep.

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FAIL

"Induction is highly wasteful."

"Induction is highly wasteful."

A couple of people have suggested this. It's not right.

Induction **in the right circumstances** can be highly efficient.

The right circumstances are used directly or indirectly every day by most people in most "civilised" countries.

They involve 50Hz electricity (60Hz is definitely not civilised) and transformers at various places between electricity users and their electricity power stations.

In particular the efficient use of induction typically requires big **iron cored** transformers.

None of the "efficient induction" stuff applies to this air-coupled induction Nissan story. The story is nuts. The Scalextric or tram/dodgem suggestions make more sense.

Wrt guided bus in Cambridge: Birmingham had the UK's first one back in 1984. It did work, but is now abandoned.

http://citytransport.info/Tracline65.htm

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It might discourage body piercings

... especially those rings secured to private places.

It would also be good excuse for not finishing some useless document at home over the weekend: notebook hard disk wiped.

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Joke

Alternative means of charging on the move

Track each car from tall towers and beam microwave power directly at them (convertibles may be excepted, unless they're registered in Middlesborough) to be collected and converted into electricity, just like the proposed for giant orbiting solar panels some years back (in fact that option could help with the rural coverage issue, and also where cities are too densly built up).

Alternatively pulsed lasers. You could use the same technology for parking enforcement. Bonus

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@AC

Yup - good old council, eh?

We want efficient transport into town for everyone to use, to avoid congestion. Should we cut the prices on the buses so that people use them more often? Should we even put park-and-ride sites where they might be useful, and make sure there's easy access to them from major routes? Or should we fix the traffic lights so they're phased properly and don't cause mile-long tailbacks through town?

Nah - let's spunk millions on something which failed the last time anyone tried it, isn't going to help much, and connects nowhere to nowhere. And let's bollix some of the major link roads through town while we're doing it. And for extra pointlessness, let's not put in any stops on the way through nearby villages, so that anyone living there needs to drive to somewhere else.

Way to go...

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Paris Hilton

Transformer losses

A typical household 200VA transformer will have losses of about 20W, or be about 90% efficient. But we're not talking about a nicely coupled pair of windings with a laminated iron core here, so the losses will be *much* worse. But even so, would you choose to use a petrol pump that dribbled 10% of your fuel into the ground?

But if someone were to embedding rare earth magnets into the road surface, your inductive coupler would be able to charge the battery as you simply drove around!

Paris, 'cos she knows all about coupling.

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