HEVT Learns How to Unleash an Electric Vehicle with Plugless Power

Virginia Tech’s HEVT mechanical subteam members Justin Bryan and CJ DerGurahian and outreach coordinator Sarah Kilbourne traveled to Richmond in February to attend the kick-off event of Evatran’s Plugless Power 2012 Apollo launch program.

Partners of the program, including Hertz, Duke Energy, Google and Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, gathered to celebrate the launch of the program and watch a demonstration of its hands-free charging system. Evatran Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Hough opened the ceremony with a sponsor introduction and provided background on the technology. “With Plugless Power, we’ve overcome one of the major obstacles to more widespread adoption of electric vehicles,” she announced.

Governor Bob McDonnell, who addressed the crowd next to the Virginia State Capitol Building, encouraged electric vehicle adoption and the use of Evatran’s wireless charging system. The kick-off of the Apollo Launch Program came just one day after Governor McDonnell declared 2012 the Year of the Entrepreneur.

Plugless Power uses inductive power transfer to replenish the battery in an electric vehicle completely hands-free. Three steps are involved in this process:

  • In step one, the Plugless Power system first recognizes your EV from approximately 50 feet away. In the last five to 10 feet, the system provides parking guidance to make sure the vehicle is aligned with the technology.
  • In step two, a communication system based off of the SAE J1772 protocol wirelessly communicates with your vehicle that it is ready to charge. Upon receiving this signal, the Plugless Power system begins charging automatically.
  • In the final step, the system stops when the vehicle is fully charged. Need to leave before charging is finished? No problem. Simply back up and the system will turn off.

The vehicle components include the adapter, electronics module and battery charger connection. Station components include an indicator panel, power control module connected to 240V power and parking pad.

Evatran is based out of Wytheville, Virginia – only a short 45 minute drive from Blacksburg. Perhaps a factory tour is in order!

HEVT had a great time at the event, which was hosted in part by a team sponsor, Virginia Clean Cities. Sarah, CJ and Justin even got to test drive the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf! The team looks forward to seeing great things out of the Plugless Power technology.