Qualcomm Incorporated and Shoreham, West Sussex, based Ricardo have this month announced a technology licence agreement under which Ricardo will commercialize Qualcomm’s Halo wireless electric vehicle charging system (WEVC) for Plug-In Hybrid (PHEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs).
Under the terms of the agreement, Qualcomm has granted to Ricardo a royalty-bearing technology license to develop, make and supply WEVC systems for automobile manufacturers. Qualcomm subsidiaries will provide technical expertise and engineering support.
Ricardo said that it sees WEVC as an enabling technology for automakers to drive mass adoption of EV/PHEVs by simplifying the process of charging for consumers.
Ricardo plans to design and build the WEVC systems as it sees wireless charging as a potentially “very promising enabler for more widespread adoption of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, with consequent environmental benefits”.
First efficient 20-kilowatt wireless charging system for passenger cars
Separately, the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently demonstrated a 20-kilowatt wireless charging system that has achieved 90% efficiency at three times the rate of current plug-in systems for electric vehicles.
Industry partners for the project were Toyota, Cisco Systems, Evatran, and Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research.
Dynamic Inductive Charging
A related application of wireless charging that has been envisioned for increasing ‘electromobility’ is ‘dynamic’ inductive charging, where wireless charging infrastructure could be embedded into roads to enhance the range of electric vehicles, or reduce size and weight of on-board battery packs, by charging without needed to turn off the road for a charge up.
A feasibility by TRL published din July last year for the Highways England Feasibility study: Powering electric vehicles on England’s major roads recommended first application with commercial operators and for there to be controlled trials and follow-on public demonstrators.
In August last year Highways England announced there would be off road trials of the technology needed to power electric and hybrid vehicles on England’s major roads.
The trials were expected to last for approximately 18 months and, subject to the results, could be followed by on road trials.
As well as investigating the potential to install technology to wirelessly power ultra-low emission vehicles, Highways England is also committed in the longer term to installing plug-in charging points every 20 miles on the motorway network as part of the government’s Road Investment Strategy.
Feasibility analysis and development of on-road charging solutions for future electric vehicles
In Europe, the four year, €9 million FABRIC integrated project is addressing the technological feasibility, economic viability and socio-environmental sustainability of dynamic on-road charging of electric vehicles.
FABRIC is a Large Scale Integrated project, co-funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme, that runs from 2014 through 2017 implemented by 23 partner organisations from 9 European countries.
Its latest conference on Wireless Dynamic Charging For Fevs: Challenges And Concepts, in Brussels on 2 February, identified
the cost, mainly for building the required infrastructure, is the biggest obstacle for the wireless charging deployment.