Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated a 20 kilowatt bi-directional wireless charging device on a Small plug-in hybrid electric delivery truck, extending the technology to a broader class of vehicles and creating a new form of energy storage for fleet owners and their facilities.

The test was the first of its kind to achieve high power transmission through an air distance of 11 inches between the truck and a charging pad. Specially designed electromagnetic coils and electronic power converters transferred more than 92 per cent output of energy from the grid to the vehicle battery terminals.

It will take about three hours to charge the battery packs of the vehicle at a 20-kilowatt level; traditional wired charging requires five to six hours. The device encourages the use of the vehicle's batteries for energy storage, with its bi-directional nature.

"The system extends possibilities for fleets needing easy, effective charging of electric vehicles, as well as options for storing electricity," Omer Onar said.