>Earthgarage interviewed Rebecca Hough, Co-founder and Director of Sales & Marketing, of Evatran Plugless Power. Essentially, they’ve turned the ubiquitous concrete tire stop you see in parking lots into a wireless charging station. We learned more about their radical new technology as well as the company behind it.
What led to the creation of Evatran Plugless Power in 2009?
MTC, the parent of Evatran has been in the electrical infrastructure market for over 25 years. So naturally we’ve always been interested in electrified transportation, ever since GM came out with the EV-1 car in the 90’s. About 18 months ago we decided the time was right for leveraging our transformer technology to develop a convenient charging platform. Evatran was founded, and we started moving towards product development.
How did you become involved with Evatran?
We’re a family owned company. My father acquired the company in 1998, and grew it over the past 12-13 years into the successful company it is today. Since I was connected through family, and because of the renewed interest in electric vehicles, I decided to leave the consulting business, and help found Evatran.
Can Plugless Power compete with high voltage chargers like level 3 fast charging units? Is there anything you can tell us that we may not know?
Plugless Power is not meant to compete with level 3 chargers. They fill different niches in the market. Plugless Power is more suited to home charging, as opposed to the level 3 chargers which are more likely to show up at stop-and-go places like gas stations.
As for something you may not find explicitly on the web site, many people don’t know how the automatic aligning feature works. The parking block is actually hollow and contains the (electrical) sending unit. The sending unit actually moves back-and-forth inside the block to align itself with the car’s built-in charger.
What, do you think, is the technology’s greatest advantage?
The two biggest are advantages are convenience and peace of mind. The technology suits our current lifestyle, not only in the U.S. but also across the world. It removes the repetitive nature of the charging process, creating a hands-free and extremely simple interaction – like self-cleaning ovens. The second, peace of mind, avoids many of the worries of regular systems. If you forget to plug in your car you could be stuck without transportation to work the next day; and when you are distracted by all the tasks of the day it is relatively easy to forget to plug in. Plugless Power makes sure there is never that moment when you wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if you remembered to plug in the car.
The media makes such a big deal about EV’s but how many Leafs were sold, 10,000? Seriously, when will electrics cars be ubiquitous?
Conventional hybrids have been around for about 12 years; after about 10 years they hit 3% of the market share. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you think about it, how often you see a hybrid on the road? Wouldn’t you say fairly often? Even ten years from now, by 2020, a 3% market share for pure electric vehicles will have been extremely successful, especially for a technology that is revolutionizing the market place.