Qualcomm – changing the way we think about electric vehicles?
Electric cars and hybrids are fast becoming a normal and popular choice of transport for many ethically-minded people across the UK and rest of the world. As this demand is increasing, so too is the pressure to keep up with the technologies necessary to facilitate the battery charging that these vehicles require. Currently, the only charging facilities available are Electric Vehicle (EV) charger points, where the owner has to physically ‘plug in’ their car to an electricity supply. This obviously has its inconveniences, and there are a number of companies seeking to change this problem.
With regards to the UK, Qualcomm Inc. – a Californian company – appear to be taking the lead in this domain. They have created a partnership with various businesses including Renault, Addison Lee (the UK’s best know and largest minicab business), Delta Motorsport and Chargemaster (who are a provider of EV charging implementation) for a field trial of wireless electric car charging.
Qualcomm plan to use their Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology, named ‘Halo,’ on Renault vehicles as part of an upcoming trial in London. Halo makes use of inductive charging via a transmitting pad located on the ground and a receiving pad placed on the underside of the chosen vehicle. Halo’s technology has been based on two decades worth of research from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
Mark Klerer, Senior Director of Technology at Qualcomm, considers the technology developed by his company as a major selling point for the EV industry, as currently the major off-putting factor and reason for lack of adoption for consumers is the hassle of having to manually plug cars in. He’s not the only one who thinks this – numerous scientists believe that this type of wireless charging could be implemented into roads in the future.
So while the charging in this trial will take place while the car is parked up, the on-board technology is apparently suitable for in-motion charging if the facility was to be available. This would mean vehicles charging themselves as they were being driven, and that could be very big game-changer indeed.