Could 2016 be the year prospective Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid buyers are waiting for? Why, yes, says an unidentified Toyota spokesman. That's according to Plug-in Cars, which reports that a wireless plug-in vehicle charging system may be less than two years away for the Prius Plug-in.
WiTricity has, for a few years, been developing its magnetic resonance wireless charging system for the model. This type of system allows for more distance leeway than other wireless setups when it comes to how close the car and its on-board receiver need to be to the floor-mounted system. That allows for smaller, lighter on-board receivers, which is key for any plug-in vehicle. Toyota spokeswoman Jana Hartline confirmed in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen that the company has conducted wireless charging tests in Japan "with hopes to bring that technology to market in the near future" but declined to provide more detail on the company's plans to offer wireless charging for plug-ins.
Toyota's Satoshi Ogiso said last summer that the Prius Plug-in would eventually offer a wireless charging system in response to prospective customers' demand for it, though he wasn't specific on a time frame. Toyota started discussions with WiTricity regarding wireless charging system development more than three years ago and said late last year that it had reached a licensing agreement with the Boston-based company. WiTricity has also worked on developing wireless-charging systems that are compatible with Audi and Mitsubishi vehicles. WiTricity grew out of MIT back in 2007, back when we could barely imagine how it would work.