Qualcomm are pushing the case for standardization for electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicle charging.

The company developed an inductive charging for EVs called HALO, which has been trialled in the UK and is commercially available. The Qualcomm business model is built around licensing – investing up front in projects, such as Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging – and then licensing its technology to multiple companies.

It makes sense for a lot of the OEMs because it saves the upfront investment in the technology, however most OEMs don’t seem to have much of an issue investing in projects – building cars is a long-term business, and if the Qualcomm licensing isn’t deemed as cost effective as developing a new system, or the spec of the Halo system doesn’t suit the internal charge spec for the vehicle platform they are developing, then another standard will be born.

Qualcomm are well aware of this and are pushing for the standardisation and adoption as early as they can…

“We at Qualcomm believe that the electric vehicle industry needs to work towards a single open standard for wireless electric vehicle chargers…

…Standardization initiatives and industry associations in the EV industry are bringing together players from many different sectors such as energy generation, distribution and network provision, charging infrastructure, equipment suppliers, vehicle component suppliers, auto manufacturers, service providers and technology developers…

…This business model is collaborative and means that multiple companies can bring their own inventiveness to the table, while enabling eco system partners to focus on their own core competencies, to develop unique product features and build total system capabilities.”

Inductive charging is not a new idea – GM rolled out the Magne Charge system in the late 90′s, but no longer support the technology. There are other wireless charge solutions commercially available too, such as the the US based EVatran system “, but this is so-far being pitched as an adaptor for plug-in vehicles rather than a standard to be installed in vehicles at the production stage.

The Korean OLEV system has been successfully trialled for under-road moving-charge applications – charging buses from the road surface.

“The Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is an electric vehicle that can be charged while stationary or driving, thus removing the need to stop at a charging station. Likewise, an OLEV tram does not require pantographs to feed power from electric wires strung above the tram route.”

And WiTricity have partnered with Audi, Toyota and Mitsubishi to develop a system too, which is probably the most obvious threat to Halo – they too have a commercially available product called the WiT-3300.

Here’s a nice video from Qualcomm which explains the technology and applications…

Visit the Qualcomm Halo site here: www.qualcommhalo.com

Download the detailed fact sheet for Halo: www.qualcommhalo.com/images/downloads/IPT Fact Sheet 1 – UoA 2012.pdf

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