Wireless EV charging pilot launches in the UK
By Jesse Berst
One of the things I appreciate about Qualcomm is its willingness to invest in technologies that may not pay off for years or even decades. When Qualcomm's Senior Director of Technology Mark Klerer first told me of his company's Halo wireless charging technology, I confess I thought it might well be decades before it showed up in real applications.
I was wrong. Qualcomm has gathered a team of partners for a field trial of wireless electric car charging in London, according to EE Times. The partners include Renault, Delta Motorsport, Addison Lee (the UK's largest minicab company) and Chargemaster (a provider of EV charging infrastructure).
Halo uses inductive charging between a transmitting pad on the ground and a receiving pad on the underside of the vehicle (see photo nearby). It is based on 20 years of research at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Some scientists even believe it will be possible to build wireless charging into roadways, so vehicles charge themselves as they roll along.
Klerer believes wireless charging could remove one of the barriers to EV adoption, eliminating the need to manually plug cars in. Center your car over the charging pad and it will automatically couple. He assures me that neither efficiency (which is roughly 90%) nor safety will stop the show... but I predict some consumer worries about safety when/if the idea goes mainstream.