Wireless charging looks promising for widespread use in electric vehicles, but it's certainly taking it's sweet time to show up. Toyota has made a licensing agreement that could move it all forward. WiTricity, a wireless power transfer company, has impressed Toyota enough that the global automaker has forged an intellectual property license agreement with Boston, MA-based company. Toyota believes wireless charging will be a key differentiator in the marketplace because it makes refilling the battery nearly invisible and thus makes EVs all the more appealing to car shoppers.

Toyota will use the Witricity agreement to offer wireless charging power capture devices in its future plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. Toyota will go to a third-party charging system supplier to have the chargers made, utilizing WiTricity's technology. Toyota started working with WiTricity nearly three years ago through a technology collaboration agreement. Toyota also agreed to help WiTricity raise capital. Toyota has also been pursing wireless charging for its next-gen Prius Plug In, but system verification isn't scheduled until next year.

WiTricity has impressed other automakers and suppliers, and has forged partner or license agreements with Audi, Delphi and Mitsubishi. Companies in other sectors such as industrial and mobile robotics have also made agreements with WiTricity.
Toyota Licenses WiTricity Patent Portfolio for Wireless Power

WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WiTricity, the industry pioneer in highly resonant wireless power transfer over distance, today announced an intellectual property license agreement with the world's top-selling carmaker, Toyota Motor Corporation.

Having made an equity investment in WiTricity in 2011 to accelerate the development of automotive wireless charging systems and acceptance by carmakers, Toyota has cooperated technically with the company for the past several years. Under this intellectual property license agreement, Toyota will offer wireless charging power capture devices on their future rechargeable hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles. Compatible wireless charging sources will be manufactured by third party charging system suppliers, under license from WiTricity.

WiTricity's technology delivers electric power safely over distance and eliminates the need for the charging cable that is required for EVs and PHVs that are currently on the market. Toyota has identified this technology as a key differentiator in the marketplace because of its seamless operation and the convenience factor it offers the vehicle owners.

"WiTricity's mission is to make wireless charging available as widely as possible, and this announcement is a significant step toward accomplishing that mission," said WiTricity CEO Eric Giler. "We envision a world in which wireless charging accelerates the adoption of clean, green electrified vehicles. To have Toyota, the world's leading carmaker, licensing our intellectual property, underscores the importance of the technology."

About WiTricity

WiTricity is the industry leader in wireless electricity delivered over distance, and holds the foundational patents for highly resonant wireless power transfer. The company was founded in 2007 to commercialize an exciting new technology for wireless electricity invented by world renowned physicists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With a growing list of global clients in industries including consumer electronics, automotive, medical devices and defense, WiTricity has emerged as the leader for IP and expertise in highly resonant wireless power transfer. For more information, visit www.witricity.com. Follow WiTricity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 11 Months Ago
      If witricity charging was standard then it would open up the possibility of sections of road where the car could be recharged while driving.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here is the website since autoblog can't be arsed to provide a proper link: http://www.witricity.com/
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like patent trolling to me.
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is nothing particularly innovative about inducing electricity through coils.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wireless charging is definitely the way of the future for EV charging. Each time it's mentioned, there's always an outcry from a few indignant souls who would rather plug in. These are the same hardy folk whose forefathers probably stood at the 1914 motor show, confidently predicting that the electric self starter in the new Cadillac, would never catch on with the motoring public ! Wireless charging allows the EV to be charged as easily as parking, eliminating one of the impediments for EV adoption. As EV's steadily move into the mainstream, wireless charging will become increasingly popular.
        Ele Truk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        And for that you get to spend more money, both on the vehicle and charger station, and on the electricity (because it's less efficient - simple fact, air gaps conduct less well than wires).
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ele Truk
          Around 1-2% less efficient, actually, according to Qualcom. Or can't you be bothered to research just how much loss you are talking about?
          Ele Truk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ele Truk
          Yea, because nobody EVER lies about their specs. I would like to see some 3rd party verification.
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        The electric starter just adds cost and complexity to a simple efficient system! Weaklings shouldn't be driving if they can't manage to turn a crank!
      RyanC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Takes 10 seconds to plug in the Model S at home. Can't imagine filling a large sedan with fuel in the minute (total over a week's worth of plugging in) it takes to keep a Model S charged. Not having to carry a separate charging cable when you will be running out of charge -- perhaps that is a good reason to have wireless charging. Otherwise, I think they are fixing a problem that doesn't exist.
        Ele Truk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RyanC
        Well, unless they adopt a standardized wireless charging, we are going to be in the same place as we are with fast chargers. Tesla has it's own, Japanese have CHAdeMO, and the rest of the world is adopting SAE Combo. Also, the current cost for a J1772 EVSE is less than $1000, these wireless chargers are said to be about $3000. Is it really worth that much more to not plug in? Not to me it isn't. Especially when there's no guarantee that public wireless chargers will be fully compatible.
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