Marking an important step in
the future of electric vehicles, the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc.
(HATCI) and Mojo Mobility, Inc. (Mojo) have completed a three-year project to
develop a fast-charging wireless power transfer system on a test fleet of Kia
Soul EVs . The project, in collaboration with the U.S. 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, adding that “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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