When Plugless co-founder Tom Hough spun off a small research division from MTC transformers (a company that specialized in updating large industrial transformers for the grid) to focus on wireless EV charging, there were plenty of naysayers. Commentators wrote it off as an engineering impossibility. It would never work. It would never be efficient enough. For a while that seemed to be the case. Major OEMs including Nissan, Audi, Hyundai, Mercedes and more have all made wireless EV charging announcements. And never delivered anything. So why should Plugless, a startup, expect to succeed where centuries of engineering know-how had not?
“Why should Plugless, as a startup, expect to succeed where centuries of engineering know-how had not? One reason. We come from the power business, not the car business. Wireless EV charging is all about power transfer.”
Plugless’ DNA Gives Us the Edge
One reason. We come from the power transfer business, not the car business. Wireless EV charging is a power feature, not a drive feature. After all our DNA is in industrial transformers, which use induction at the massive scale needed for our electrical grid.
Charging a single car is a much narrower goal. Of course, wireless EV charging presents the challenge of figuring out how to do it efficiently over an air gap. But we were up for it. It’s well worthwhile because automated refueling brings in a new age of personal transportation. The fuel loop is finally closed. The user experience virtually becomes that of driving a perpetual motion machine. We’re driven by the vision of seamless, clean, ultra-convenient transportation that only self-charging EVs can truly deliver on a grand scale.
This is How Far Plugless Has Come with Wireless EV Charging
Six years later, Plugless-enabled EVs have over 1 MILLION wireless charging hours with actual EV drivers under the belt. That’s a full century’s worth of continuous charging for individual Plugless customers as well as major trial partners including Google, Duke Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and more. We’re thrilled to have released our more powerful second generation Plugless that includes support for Model S, which started shipping last December.
What Is the Secret Sauce at Plugless?
Plugless didn’t just succeed on technical know-how. Making people happy is the true measure of success. This is a company where the entire sales and customer care team hears about it whenever a customer posts a comment raving about how much they love their Plugless system. Where if a customer has a question about an extremely specific use case particular to their setup, one of the engineers who helped design the product helps formulate a response. The whole point of Plugless is for EV ownership to feel seamless. As it should be.
A Rising Tide Will Raise All Boats
The stronger the electric vehicle industry, the strong the wireless EV charging industry. As auto manufacturers finally start producing EVs with wireless charging built-in at the factory, Plugless will have opportunities to be integrated into that process. More EV owners will catch the wireless charging wave as it becomes a more established, expected EV feature. We can’t wait to see new EVs coming to market with the ability to charge themselves. Wireless charging will help accelerate the clean energy revolution which is good for every single one of us and future generations to come.