Toyota Wireless Charging trial [Video]

Originally published on Gas2 by Christopher DeMorro

EV Central. EV Sales. Toyota Wireless Charging tests in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
EV Central. EV Sales. Toyota Wireless Charging tests in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

Toyota has started testing a wireless electric car charging station that the automaker claims can fully recharge a Prius Plug-in in about 90 minutes. While hardly lightning fast, the convenience of wireless electric charging could give electrified vehicles another distinct advantage over combustion engines.

The trial will utilize three Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrids equipped with WiTricity wireless magnetic-resonance recharging technology. Toyota invested in the MIT-spin-off company last year in a bid to bolster its technology portfolio. Rugged charging pads can be placed in just about any parking spot, and any compatible car parked over the pad will begin charging immediately, taking the plug out of the Prius Plug-in.

A 2 kW receiver allows the 4.4 kWh battery pack to be recharged in as little as 90 minutes.

A Tesla Supercharger, in comparison, can fill up the 85 kWh battery pack of the Model S in under an hour…but you still have to plug it in. Wireless charging technology should eventually be able to match, or even exceed that level of charging, such is the case with South Korea’s all-electric buses, all without a physical connection.

Combined with self-parking technology that places the Prius in the right spot for maximum recharging efficiency, wireless recharging could be a cornerstone of the next-generation Toyota Prius. This would make the next Prius as much a hybrid as a cutting-edge, high-tech car, giving customers another reason to choose it over an ever-increasing field of competitors.

The test will begin later this month in the Aichi Prefecture, Japan, and Toyota plans to introduce the technology on near-future models.

This article, Toyota Begins Wireless Charging Trial (VIDEO), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

EV Central. EV Sales. Chris DeMorroChristopher DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMI’s. When he isn’t wrenching or writing, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

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Ford and Toyota Score Big Electric Car Wins

by Zachary Shahan

Toyota Prius PHEV Image Credit: Toyota
Toyota Prius PHEV Image Credit: Toyota

Electric cars, in general, were the winners in October 2013.

However, within that overall story, I think the most notable stories of the month involved Ford & Toyota — not exactly the companies you think of when you think about electric car leaders, right?

No, neither company unleashed an electric vehicle version of LeBron James onto the world. However, each have made some notable, incremental improvements in this space and have seen significant rewards from that.

First of all, the Toyota Prius PHEV was actually the top-selling plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid electric car in the US in October. That’s the first time that the Toyota Prius PHEV has claimed the top spot, unseating the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf (who have been trading spots at the top all year long). It’s quite a surprise.

It does come on the back of a $4,600 Toyota Prius PHEV price cut, but I don’t think most of us in the industry expected it to surge ahead of the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf at this point in time. Surely the well known Prius brand has helped with sales. And I imagine that up-selling customers who thought they were going in to buy a conventional Toyota Prius is happening.

Ford C-max energi
Ford C-Max Energi. Image Credit: Ford

Now, there is another way of looking at plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid electric car sales. And Ford wouldn’t let us forget this other vantage point. If you look at overall plug-in car sales by company, Ford actually took the top spot in October.

With sales of the Ford Fusion Energi (1,087) and Ford C-MAX Energi (1,092) combined, Ford’s PHEV models hit 2,179 sales in October. That narrowly beats the month’s 2,095 Toyota Prius PHEV sales. And it accounts for 34% of the PHEV market.

Ford adds:

It is Ford’s best month ever for plug-in hybrid sales, shattering the previous record of 1,508 vehicles sold in September, a 45 percent increase. Ford’s plug-in hybrid vehicles – Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi – hit this sales milestone just one year after introduction of C-MAX Energi and less than a year since launch of Fusion Energi.

Toyota and Ford were both relative latecomers to the plug-in car market (following Nissan and GM/Chevrolet). So, it’s sort of exciting to see them both doing so well now.

Perhaps there is one more big electric car story of the month, though. Five electric car models sold over 1,000 cars each in October. Three models landed sales between 2,000 and 2,100, while Ford’s two models combined climbed just a bit above 2,100. That puts 3–5 models from 4 different car companies within very close proximity of each other. It shows how diversified the EV market has already become, and that it’s not simply 1 or 2 models leading the way anymore, but a handful or so. This is exciting. Most people probably don’t have a clue that all these plug-in electric cars are on the market, but they’ll find out before too long.

This article, Ford & Toyota Score Big Electric Car Wins, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

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Toyota Prius Plug-In MPG Challenge Winner Averages 356 MPG

by Tim Tyler

The first wave of the Prius Plug-In MPG Challenge has been completed, and the winner is The Helping Hands Food Pantry.

While competing against some stiff competition from other non-profits, the Helping Hands group managed to achieve the highest overall MPG with an astounding 356 MPG over the 30-day period.

Toyota Prius plug-in.
Toyota Prius plug-in. Image courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation.

If you’re not familiar with the Prius Plug-In MPG Challenge, it is a new annual contest created by Toyota to raise environmental awareness and to help promote maximizing fuel efficiency of the Prius Plug-in.

Toyota, which has just seen sales of its Toyota Prius line surpass 3 million, has committed to $20,000 in prizes to organizations that end a 30-day driving period with the highest MPG while driving a borrowed Prius Plug-in from Toyota.

The Helping Hands Food Pantry is a “donation-run group established by a local councilman and minister in Teaneck, N.J., that provides free, supplemental groceries to needy residents.”

In order to qualify, contestants had to drive at least 500 miles in the 30-day period.

Helping Hands came in with 506 total miles driven and averaged 356 MPG. That is 261 MPG more than the vehicle’s official estimated average in EV Mode. To celebrate their accomplishment, Toyota is awarding The Helping Hand Food Pantry with a much-needed $2,500 contribution, which I’m sure they will put to good use.

The second wave of competitors has officially begun. This wave will consist of seven prolific environmental influencers from NY, NJ, and Connecticut. Just like the seven participants from the last round, the second wave of eco-conscious competitors will borrow a Prius Plug-In and see if they can achieve the greatest overall MPG in the next 30 days.

The second wave of ecologically conscious competitors participating as MPG Challengers includes:

  • Earth Day New York, a nonprofit organization promoting environmental awareness and solutions through partnerships with schools, community organizations, businesses and government
  • EcoKaren, a chiropractor-turned-green-living-consultant and blogger focused on the connection between the environment and health
  • Green-4-U, a resource for people who want to know more about green living but do not know where to start
  • Green Divas, a radio show and blog offering listeners information on green and sustainable living
  • Green Living Guy, author and editor of the “Green Guru” series
  • Inhabitat, a blog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future
  • New York Green Advocate, a blog authored by environmental activist Paul McGinniss focused around the latest news about the world environment, sustainable living, renewable energy and green building

Notably, Eco Karen and the Green Divas have run sites in the Important Media network, while Green Living Guy is a friend and wonderful fan and supporter of CleanTechnica.

To bring some real-time information to the event, participants will be able to log activity via several social channels.

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