New Advancements in Hybrid Automotive Technology Include Wireless Charging and Solar Energy

Hitting the market next summer, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S 550e will feature wireless battery charging.

This highly advanced technology does not require the use of cords or plugs, as it works in a similar fashion to the new wirelessly charging cell phones.

According to Autocar, the charging system will function with two coils. One will be placed on the floor of the car and the other will be located on the floor of a garage. An electromagnetic field is created between the coils, allowing for the transfer of energy. The charging process will begin automatically, as soon as the car is within range of the base plate.

Mercedes says that the electric power output transfers at a rate of 3.6-kilowatt hours, which is 90% as effective in comparison to plug-in charging methods.

Mercedes insiders are anticipating that the car’s new charging technology may be integrated with autonomous driving technology, meaning that the S 550e would be able to drive itself to a charging station and recharge all on its own.

Mercedes is not the only manufacturer with big plans for the electric car. The new Toyota Prius hybrid is expected to gain additional driving range with the installation of a rooftop solar panel that recharges the battery.

The panels stretch nearly the entire length of the car’s roof and the solar cells charge the lithium-ion battery pack while the car is parked, boosting efficiency as much as 10%.

What is even more impressive is that the solar panels will be able to supply power to accessories like air conditioning and interior lights while the car is in use.

This new technology will initially be offered in Europe and Japan only, where the car is called the Prius PHV. However, Koji Toyoshima, chief engineer of the Prius plug-in, told Automotive News that the company intends to introduce the solar panels to U.S. consumers at some point as well.

Consumers across the globe have shown support for hybrid vehicles, which produce 90% less pollution than non-hybrid cars. There is no doubt that further advancements in hybrid automotive technology will be just as successful in the future.

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