Berlin, Germany – Daimler AG will be charging an electric vehicle without plugging it in, as the company embarks on a project to test inductive charging in real-world conditions.

The project will use a Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell fitted with a special charging coil, which only need to be positioned over another charging coil in the ground to automatically start the charging process.

“We are keen to find out how the inductive charging process proves in daily use,” said Herbert Kohler, head of e-drive and future mobility. “We have already demonstrated the essential feasibility of the technology. The experience in day-to-day use will now provide important pointers for the further course of development. A number of technical and financial issues also need to be resolved before we can really assess the marketability of this technology.”

The car will be deployed next March in Berlin and is part of a larger project that includes an energy-efficient house that is intended to generate more electricity than it consumes. The surplus electricity will be used to recharge the electric car. A family of four will live at the house on an experimental basis for 15 months and use various electric vehicles to explore and demonstrate how a new generation of buildings and electric mobility can interact in daily life. The cars will include the A-Class E-Cell, a second-generation Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, and a Smart ebike.

Daimler will install a conventional vehicle charging station along with the inductive charging coil in the carport. The family will also be able to charge the vehicles at public charging stations or with a standard domestic power outlet.

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