Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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wireless charging

plugless "Plug-in" hybrids
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People are modding hybrids by making them plug-in hybrids to get more mileage (up to 250 mpg) but automakers have spent millions to advertise that you don't have to plug them in (because of the inconvenience).

Why not add wireless charging (like a sonic care toothbrush) so that you charge it by simply driving into your garage. And eventually the car would wirelessly charge while stopped at signals or even while driving on the highway.

onthefly, Aug 14 2005

Large Charging Mat http://www.youtube....g-M&feature=related
[DIYMatt, Sep 10 2010]

Very Cool Completely Wireless TV http://www.youtube....0cM&feature=related
"VCCWTV" for short. [DIYMatt, Sep 10 2010]


       Although I'm no expert, I'm guessing inductive charging requires an intimate physical connection between the charger and the object to be charged in order to work. If that's true, your scenarios don't really work.
bristolz, Aug 14 2005

       But if it was simply a drive in socket connection, like a cordless drill battery in its dock, at least the garage scenario could be salvaged. Sort of. You might not be able to walk around the front bumper.
oxen crossing, Aug 14 2005

       When people say "wireless" these days, they mean some sort of radio signal that allows about 20 feet of separation between two bits of electronic equipment, and only provides for information exchange. The term does not refer to charging, usually.   

       The Sonic Care toothbrush--to which no link was provided by the author--uses induction charging, which requires that the two bits be in very close contact, as [bristolz] says. Induction charging is a variation of a transformer, and gives the advantage of having no metal-to-metal contacts. But it does require that a plug of some sort goes precisely into a socket of some sort, even if no metal is showing and the socket appears flat.   

       Induction charging plugs have been used on electric automobiles. They are very slightly easier to use than a metal-to-metal plug, and reduce the chances of electric shock. There are disadvantages, however.   

       It would be possible to do as [oxen crossing] suggests, and make a drive-in dock, provided the alignment issues could be overcome. For that, an induction charger might be better than a metal-to-metal plug.   

       As for this idea: it's a wish, and a magical misunderstanding of the technology. [-]
baconbrain, Aug 14 2005

       You mean induction charging, as everybody else has observed.   

       I don't think this is as tricky as people are making out. Already clever wizards have developed charging mats which recharge cameras, phones, etc which are placed haphazardly on them (I read an article on it a few months ago). Okay, so proximity is necessary - so put a big induction mat on the floor of the garage, and make it part of a seesaw arrangement so that the weight of the car's front wheels (say) lifts it off the ground until it mates with a corresponding flat bit on the bottom of the car. Alignment issues would be taken care of by the physical act of getting the car into the garage. Efficiency might not be stellar, so make sure it's powered by solar panels or some such.   

       Alternatively, fix it so that the act of locking the car doors/putting the handbrake on/ some other 'stationary car' activity drops the charging plate onto the ground. It might even be possible to use the steel reinforcement in the tyres inductively, although that would be trickier. The 'charging at the lights' is not so clever, though - who pays for the power? Where's the incentive to install it? As [baconbrain] points out, there's no feasible way to 'beam' power in the way you first suggested.
moomintroll, Aug 14 2005

       Wow it's funny to see people's reactions to this 5 years ago. With today's technology it seems almost easy. See the multiple links.
DIYMatt, Sep 10 2010


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