Editor’s note: Electric vehicles are just one way to boost demand for electric power and ideally, wind generated electric power.
WiTricity, the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance, says it is collaborating with Prodrive Technologies, tier-1 supplier of power electronics and sensors, to design a high-performance 11-kW wireless charging system. The two companies were selected to design the system by a leading European carmaker that plans to release its first wirelessly-charged vehicles in 2019.
Electrified vehicles (EV), battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), are a strategic focus for car makers across the globe, to improve fuel economy and reduce the CO2 emissions of their fleets.
Car makers understand that an efficient, customer-friendly, and ultimately autonomous wireless charging experience is key to expanding the sales of electrified vehicles. WiTricity and Prodrive are helping enable that experience by bringing best-of-breed expertise to this new charging system’s design.
WiTricity will provide its foundational magnetic resonance intellectual property, complete reference designs and consulting services to the project. Based on the WiTricity designs, Prodrive will develop and industrialize an automotive mass market system and implement the automaker’s specific requirements.
Prodrive has deep experience in the technology, engineering practices and highly automated manufacturing processes needed to supply power electronics on a Tier 1 basis to automakers. By incorporating WiTricity technology, the resulting system will be capable of charge rates up to 11 kW at high efficiency, comparable to the efficiency of today’s wired charging systems. Energy transfer up to 22 kW for automotive is also being researched. The company will deliver an “end to end system,” including the components that are integrated with the vehicle to “capture” the wireless power, and the garage floor-mounted charging pad and wall box that serves as the source of the wireless power.
“Wireless charging is emerging as a critical technology for automakers worldwide, particularly as autonomous vehicles become central to future product strategy. Being awarded this project by one of the world’s leading brands is a testament to our technology leadership and we’re proud to be working with Prodrive to make it happen,” said Alex Gruzen, CEO, WiTricity. “With Prodrive’s experience in automotive power electronics and sensors—and their extensive automated manufacturing capabilities, Prodrive is a strong partner for us in our mission to accelerate the deployment of efficient, fast and convenient wireless EV charging.”
WiTricity is working with major automakers and Tier 1 suppliers such as Prodrive to bring wireless EV charging to a commercial reality, with the first wirelessly charged vehicles set to be released in 2017. The company is helping to drive international standards efforts through its leadership and participation in industry groups including the SAE (Global), IEC/ISO (Global), DKE (Germany) and CATARC (China).
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