Wireless Charging Manholes Are So 2011

An article from Wired.com titled “New York City Is Getting Wireless EV Chargers Disguised as Manholes” came across my feed yesterday and it sounded very, very familiar.  The “I saw that two years ago” kind of familiar.  From there, the post made it’s way to Gizmodo.com, Dvice.com, LunaticOutpost.com, Ubergizmo.com and even the @TranscendentMan twitter feed.

A company named Hevo Power is claiming the idea of “hiding” a wireless charging station under a manhole as a new innovation — even supplying the following quote:

“I was walking down the street, pondering how wireless charging could be deployed,” Hevo’s CEO and founder Jeremy McCool told WIRED. “I was standing at 116th and Broadway, and I was looking down and saw a manhole cover. And thought, that’s the ticket. There are no cords, no hazards. Everything can be underneath the manhole cover.”

Wireless Charging Manhole Cover, circa 2011
Wireless Charging Manhole Cover, circa 2011

Unfortunately for Mr. McCool and Wired, that’s not the ticket.  In January 2011 at the International Consumer Electronics Show this exact idea was on display in the Fulton Innovations booth and made a repeat appearance in 2012.  We reported on the booth where “capabilities are showcased with a Tesla electric vehicle… that has the ability to be charged wirelessly.”

Obviously, there is a lot to be said for consequent innovation, it happens all the time.  If Fulton Innovation had this technology more than two years ago, where are they now?  As of last year’s International CES, they were continuing to develop their core technologies — including working with companies “to integrate wireless power technology into infrastructure and electronic devices to enable consumers to live a truly wireless life.”

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