The Rav4 converted to charging from the road (photo: Electron)
Toyota, which so far has not been in a hurry to follow the trend of switching to an electric vehicle, is moving up a gear in a strategic cooperation agreement it signed with Israel's Electreon.
Electreon, whose development and testing center is located in Beit Yanai, reported today to the stock exchange that it had signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Toyota and with the Japanese company Denso, which produces components and technologies for the automotive industry, in which Toyota owns 25% of the shares.
The company, founded in 2013, develops technology that will allow electric vehicles to be charged while driving, using wireless charging from special electrical coils that will be buried under the asphalt.
This is a measure designed to provide an answer to the slow pace of deployment of charging stations in cities and beyond, and the difficulty of increasing the supply of electricity to all homes and businesses for vehicle charging.
The limitations of the charging network were one of Toyota's reasons for its slow entry into the field of electric vehicles so far: while European, American and Chinese manufacturers launch new electric models on a regular basis, the largest car manufacturer in the world currently produces only two electric models under its name, the bZ4x crossover that is also sold in Israel, and -bZ3 in China, and two Lexus models, the UX300e and the new RZ.
Electreon's technology will help the Japanese in their late entry into the streetcar field (Photo: Keinan Cohen)
Oren Ezer, CEO of Electreon (Photo: Nir Selkman)
The new agreement, which comes after Toyota personnel arrived in Israel for a prolonged technological evaluation of Electreon, should allow Toyota to promote a new charging channel, in Japan and abroad.
As part of the experiment conducted by Toyota in Beit Yanai, the Rab4 plug-in was converted to be charged from the road.
Electreon's technology will make it possible to extend the actual range of flagship vehicles, which Toyota already offers in some of its models, such as the Prius and some Lexus models." Oren Ezer,
CEO of Electreon, told Walla that "this is our first agreement with a car manufacturer, and another one that sold in -2022 about 10.5 million cars. To see the power of their production lines, when they talk about getting ready to prepare our production line is very exciting."
What does the agreement include?
"The agreement includes Toyota and Denso, which is also a supplier of components to other large manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, Ford and Stellantis (the company born from the merger of Peugeot-Citroen-Opel and Fiat-Chrysler - A.E.). This is a major breakthrough, Denso will distribute us In the entire automotive industry, with Toyota being the first company to adopt the technology. The agreement includes the joint development of a wireless charging kit to be installed in the vehicles of a variety of vehicle manufacturers that exist in the market, as an aftermarket product. In addition, the companies will jointly develop a wireless charging product that will be installed in Toyota models while still on the production line. The three companies They will work together in the international standardization committees for wireless charging of electric vehicles and promote a project in Japan and a commercial project in the US and/or Europe."
When can we buy a Toyota car with your technology?
"We already have a Rab4 plug-in that we have converted to charging from the road, a vehicle that can originally drive around 75 km with electric drive, and in our testing ground the range is not limited.
It will take some time before Toyota integrates these capabilities into new mass-produced vehicles, in the automotive industry things don't happen overnight.
That's why we will simultaneously offer aftermarket kits that will allow electric and plug-in cars to charge while driving.
This is an addition of only 2 cm at the bottom of the vehicle, which will also allow private cars to upgrade, not only recreational vehicles. We are making an effort to launch it on the market as early as 2024, come to you, install and you won't have to use just cables."
But for that you need roads that are able to charge the cars.
"Toyota's goal is to establish a consortium of companies, including electricity companies, and start projects. Toyota has already committed to reducing its carbon footprint, and switching to electric charging from the road could be one of the ways. The intention is to promote projects not only in Japan, but also in Europe and the USA
Following the report to the stock exchange, Elektreon's stock jumped 14%, and the company trades at a market value of NIS 798 million, after losing 50% of its value in the past year