Hughes / GM Magne Charge
Inductive Paddle Chargers
LPI (Large Paddle Inductive)
1993 - 1994 25kW (thin paddle)
1996 - 2000 6.6kW (thick paddle)
SPI (Small Paddle Inductive)
2000 - 2003 6.6kW
Magne Charge is an inductive charging system
developed to provide charging of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
This system was originally developed by Hughes
Electronics (c1993/4 - LPI thin paddle) and later by General
Motors and Toyota (1995 - 2003 - LPI & SPI). It served
OEM production BEV vehicles including the GM EV1 (1996 -
2003), GM's Chevrolet S10-E (1997 - 1998), as well as the Nissan
Altra EV (1998) and the Toyota Rav4-EV (1996 - 2003).
Early Magne Charge systems were also fitted to some Solectra
and USElectric aftermarket vehicles as
options (1994 - 1996).
Early units were produced by Hughes and later by General
Motors through their Delco Electronics subsidiary. Under license
to GM, Toyota developed the SPI style for their
Production models produced 6.6 kW versions although a
high-power fast-charge 50kW version was in development when
GM terminated the program c2003. Over the years
the Magne Charge was developed in
two basic versions, a large paddle inductive (LPI) and later
the small paddle (SPI) system.
Magne Charge inductive systems were originally designed to provide
a safe alternative to conductive charging in any conditions
including rain and snow.
It should be noted that an earlier version of the LPI pedestal
charger existed, which, although the appearance was
the same as the later pedestal mounted units pictured here, it
carried a "thin paddle" design and was used in pre-1995 Magne
Charge equipped vehicles.
The early version thin paddle dimensions were .383" thick x 5.49
wide" (9.7mm x 139mm). These early versions were
recalled c1994 due to over heating, melting and subsequent fire
The later LPI dimensions were 0.61" thick x 5.42" wide
(15.5mm x 138mm) for the more widely distributed version. The
#2 picture shows a GM "Gen 2" unit, the second and last
generation of the GM product.
The Gen 2 was ultimately manufactured in two configurations,
1) the Gen 2 which is a LPI unit and, 2) the Gen 2+ [Gen 2 plus]
units which were a SPI [Small Paddle Inductive] unit.
These units could be mounted by pedestal or wall mount. The
#3 picture is an example of the final configuration
of the Mange Charge units, and is designated as a TAL unit
manufactured by Toyota under license to GM. TAL stands
for Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. a subsidiary of TMC.
These units could also be wall or pedestal mounted and
originally came in a LPI configuration.
The SPI format was originally developed by Toyota. Copied below
is some additional data about the conversion from
LPI to SPI specifications.
The original Hughes and GM developed LPI units
communicated between the base station (off- vehicle 'gas
pump') and the on-vehicle components via RF communications;
however, Toyota developed the SPI units to utilized
Although all the SPI units are reverse engineered to accommodate
both RF & IR communications, LPI units are only
RF based. Therefore a SPI unit can charge an LPI vehicle
but not vice-versa.