LONDON – Qualcomm Inc. (San Diego, Calif.) has announced it has agreed to apply its wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) technology to Renault vehicles as part of an upcoming trial.
Qualcomm calls its WEVC technology Halo and it is set to be used in a London trial. Renault SAS has joined the trial steering committee. The objectives of the trial are to evaluate the commercial viability of wireless EV charging and gain user feedback on the use of WEVC-enabled vehicles.
In addition, Delta Motorsport Ltd. (Towcester, England), an automotive and motorsport engineering consultancy, has agreed to integrate Halo into its Delta E-4 electric vehicles, for deployment in the London WEVC trial in the second half of 2012. Addison Lee, the UK's largest minicab company, and Chargemaster plc, the leading European operator of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, have also agreed to participate in the WEVC London trial.
The technology is based on inductive charging across the air gap between a transmitting pad in the road surface and a receiving pad on the underside of a vehicle. It typically works at frequencies below 300-kHz but the final details are not yet decided and subject to standards negotiation. It is not yet clear whether the technology uses simple inductive magnetic coupling or resonant inductive coupling. The technology is also said to be suitable for in-motion charging in circumstances where electric-roadways are set up.
For parked charging the ground pad remains switched off until a vehicle with a compatible pad is in proximity. The two pads include wireless communications which carry authentication, charging requirements and payment negotiations prior to charging beginning.
Qualcomm acquired the technology along with assets of HaloIPT Ltd. (London, England) in November 2011. HaloIPT's technology was based on 20 years of research into wireless power at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
The objectives of the trial are to evaluate the commercial viability of the wireless charging of electric vehicles (EVs), to develop a further understanding of issues relating to the integration of WEVC technology into EVs, to build knowledge associated with the deployment of WEVC into a megacity, and to gain user feedback on the use of WEVC-enabled electric vehicles.
"The deployment of wireless inductive charging requires inter-operability between cars and ground systems within common European and, hopefully, worldwide standards," said Jacques Hebrard, vice president at Renault, in a statement from Qualcomm.
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