Currently, manhole covers keep your sworn enemies from falling into the sewer where they belong (dang it) and perpetuate male-centric language (double dang it). Soon they’ll serve a less-annoying purpose: wirelessly charging your electric car. At least, if Hevo Power’s pilot program in New York City goes well. According to Gizmodo:
Here’s how it’ll work: You’ll be able to use an app to find an open spot (a bit like Citibike’s app), then roll up and park above one of the covers. The app’s integrated payment system will let you track and pay for the amount of energy you’re sucking up from the energy pad below.
Very “Beam me up, Scotty,” no?
The system is unique from traditional wireless inductive charging systems — the sort you might use for your phone — because it uses resonance charging, which is faster and less wasteful.
The pilot project will start in New York’s Washington Square Park in early 2014. The modified manhole covers will employ level 2 charging, the kind of charging station you might install at home. It doesn’t deliver as much juice as a business-grade DC Fast Charge charging station, but it’s perfect for delivery trucks that don’t go far or fast. Hevo will start with a partnership to charge NYU’s Smart ForTwos and may even expand to serve Pepsi and Walgreens.
The only thing left is for us to come up with a non-gendered way of saying “manhole covers.” Peoplehole covers just won’t do it (that sounds like an out-of-business strip club, for starters). Sewer covers? Magic electricity portals? Whatever they’re called, they’re gonna be cool.