The next step: wire­less charg­ing for 4WDS


Mark­ing an im­por­tant step in the fu­ture of elec­tric ve­hi­cles, the Hyundai-Kia Amer­ica Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre ( HATCI) and Mojo Mobility, have com­pleted a three-year project to de­velop a fast-charg­ing wire­less power trans­fer sys­tem on a test fleet of Kia Soul EVs[ i] . The project, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the US De­part­ment of En­ergy’s of­fice of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and re­new­able en­ergy, paves the way for the fu­ture of elec­tric ve­hi­cles in which plugs are no longer nec­es­sary. HATCI and Mojo, a wire­less tech­nol­ogy com­pany, worked to­gether to de­velop a com­pact wire­less charg­ing sys­tem that is ca­pa­ble of trans­fer­ring more than 10 kW to the ve­hi­cle for fast charg­ing while tar­get­ing an 85 per­cent grid-to-ve­hi­cle ef­fi­ciency. The project in­stalled the sys­tem on five Soul EVs and tested them in real- world ap­pli­ca­tions for dura­bil­ity, safety and per­for­mance.

The sys­tem works by us­ing an elec­tro­mag­netic field to trans­fer en­ergy be­tween two coils – a trans­mit­ter on the ground and a re­ceiver on the bot­tom of the ve­hi­cle. The driver sim­ply parks the car above the trans­mit­ter to be­gin charg­ing and then en­ergy is sent through an in­duc­tive cou­pling to an elec­tri­cal de­vice, which uses that en­ergy to charge the elec­tric ve­hi­cles’ bat­tery. The sys­tem is so ef­fi­cient it will al­low some mis­align­ment be­tween the trans­mit­ter and the re­ceiver, mak­ing it eas­ier and more con­ve­nient for owner’s day-to- day use.

“We’re thrilled with the suc­cess of the sys­tem and its ef­fi­ciency,” said Wil­liam Freels, HATCI pres­i­dent. “We set out to de­velop wire­less charg­ing that has real world ap­pli­ca­tions and is easy to use for the con­sumer. Now, with this fleet of wire­less Soul EVs, we can clearly see a fu­ture of un­plugged elec­tric ve­hi­cles.”

There is no cur­rent plan to of­fer the wire­less charg­ing

sys­tem on pro­duc­tion ve­hi­cles for sale to con­sumers; how­ever, the suc­cess of this de­vel­op­ment project sug­gests sim­i­lar sys­tems are pos­si­ble on fu­ture Kia elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

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