Electric toothbrush technology to be applied to electric cars

Nissan is developing wireless charging technology to make charging electric cars easier and faster.

The wireless charging system is based on the concept of inductive charging, the same electromagnetic field technology used to charge an electric toothbrush.

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Nissan has scaled it up for use in its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) electric car, which can charge in a compatible parking bay without the need for wires.

However, the Guardian newspaper is reporting that Nissan has larger ambitions for its system. It says Nissan hopes to lay a series of plates into the surface of designated electric vehicle lanes on our roads and motorways, enabling motorists to charge as they drive.

However, Nissan admits that it still has no idea how much it would cost, how long the designated lane would have to be, or how fast the battery could be recharged.

David Bott, director of innovation programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, said: "I suspect you'll end up plugging electric cars in at night for efficiency, and by day using inductive for on-the-go recharging."

Nissan's ZEV is a five-seat family-sized car with a top speed of 90mph and a battery range of around 100 miles.

Nissan's electric car is set to go on sale in the US and Japan next year, before arriving in the UK and the rest of Europe by 2012. Pricing is yet to be announced.

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