When it comes to innovation, some old-school car companies are speeding ahead. Nine automotive companies – including Ford (F), Toyota (TM) and BMW -- ranked in the top 20 of Boston Consulting Group's list of the Most Innovative Companies in 2013.
And some newer-school startups are also hoping to disrupt the car space. NYC-based startup HEVO Power, which launched in 2011, sees a huge market in the road ahead for electric vehicles – and is putting money on the company's prediction that plug-in stations will soon become a thing of the past.
There are four major problems with plug-in charging stations, according to HEVO Power co-founder Steven Monks. HEVO stands for Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Optimization.
"Drivers forget to plug in all the time. Drivers will also back into kiosks damaging the units. There's vandalism and theft of the units themselves. And sometimes there's faulty connectors, and these can damage vehicles, with average repair costs of $14,000," says Monks.
With these four areas in focus, HEVO created its patent-pending technology, known as electromagnetic resonance, which enables drivers of electric vehicles to park on the charging station and fill up -- without any need for a plug. The stations themselves look like manhole covers that can blend into the streetscape.