Companies like Hertz are already testing the system, and Sears has plans to sell and install the wireless chargers in customer's garages.

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nyone who has driven an electric car, a plug-in hybrid, or an extended-range electric vehicle knows that dealing with a power cord can be a pain in the butt. The cords take up space and can be unwieldy in certain situations.

Enter wireless chargers. Also known as inductive chargers, wireless chargers use electric coils mounted in a ground pad and matching coils mounted in the car to create an electromagnetic field, which is then converted into electric current which is used to charge the battery.

Plugless Power Wireless charging for electric cars could be a reality soon.

The ground pad sits about six inches below the car, and can be mounted underneath the flooring, thereby protecting it from the weather and discouraging thieves. The charge is 240 volts.

A startup called Evatran is touting its wireless chargers—sold as the Plugless Power system—as an item of convenience, not only because a driver won't need to spend a minute or two plugging in, but because he or she won't have to handle dirty or wet cords. Nor will users need to fiddle around with cords in bad weather when trying to charge outdoors.

Companies like Hertz are already testing the system, and Sears has plans to sell and install the wireless chargers in customer's garages.

Evatran is working hard to test the system and get it to market sooner rather than later, not just to beat the competition but to be ready as sales of electric cars increase. According to the company, 180 online orders for the system have already been placed. Automotive dealerships will need to do the installation of the car-mounted coils.

For now, the system only works with the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, and it's expected to retail for under $3,000, not including installation. That makes it more expensive than the typical charger, but Evatran is pinning its hopes on the system's higher convenience factor.

Given that the system works with the Volt and the Leaf, and given that Sears has plans to sell it at retail, we think there's a chance that Plugless Power could become a reality fairly soon, although we wonder if buyers really will pay that much for the convenience. It's nice to be able to simply park the car and walk away, knowing that it's charging, but we're not sure if it's $3,000 plus installation nice.

[Source: Green Car Reports]