WYTHEVILLE, VA -- Evatran, a developer of wireless charging systems for electric vehicles, announced it has signed contracts with six high-profile commercial participants to outfit their Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf models with pre-production Plugless Power wireless charging systems.
The product trial, dubbed the Apollo Launch Program, will launch a charging system for electric vehicles that removes the traditional hassles of plug-in cars. The program builds on Evatran's first product trials, held near company headquarters in Wytheville, Va., and prototype installation at Google's Mountain View, Calif., campus in early 2011.
Plugless Power, developed by Evatran, uses inductive power transfer to streamline EV charging by eliminating the cord and the plug. In addition to aftermarket distribution, Evatran is currently working with automotive manufacturers to integrate the Plugless Power technology into mass-market EVs as a factory or dealership option.
The Apollo Launch Program will follow market leaders from six industry segments as they trial Plugless Power systems on their own Volt and Leaf vehicles. Evatran hasn't yet publicly identified the companies or organizations by name, but noted participants include car rental agencies, corporate campuses and utility providers.
Installations will occur in locations across the United States. Participants will be asked to provide feedback on daily usage routines, user interfaces, and any additional functionality needed. This program will generate feedback for Evatran to incorporate into the production design of its aftermarket product line, expected to launch toward the end of 2012, Evatran said.
Announcements regarding the participants of the Apollo Launch Program are planned for early January, with installations beginning in February 2012. A second phase of the program is planned for the third quarter of 2012 to include additional participants across the country.
"The Apollo Launch Program builds off Evatran's early prototype trials and provides evidence of the strong demand for a convenient recharging option for electric vehicles," said Tom Hough, co-founder and CEO of Plugless Power. "The commitment shown by these industry leaders truly establishes them as electric vehicle advocates who are dedicated to encouraging electric vehicle adoption across the country."
Evatran and Yazaki North America have a joint development agreement to develop and market Plugless Power technology to automotive manufacturers as a factory or dealership option. With joint resources, Evatran and Yazaki are developing the hands-free charging system to be used in residential, commercial and industrial applications.