Qualcomm: If you get rid of the plug, an EV becomes more electric

The reason is ease of use and taking advantage of every opportunity.

If you own an electric car, you probably want to maximize the EV benefits, right? And that means charging it up at every opportunity, right? But what if you're only running inside for a half hour? Do you plug your car in for that? How about 10 minutes? Five? Where's your limit?

This is the issue that Qualcomm wants to make irrelevant with its wireless EV charging technology. Qualcomm's Chris Borroni-Bird, the SVP of strategic development, said at Autoblog's UPSHIFT 2016 conference today that both anecdotal evidence and studies show that when you remove the plug from an electric vehicle, battery-powered driving actually goes up. This seems obvious, since those 5-10 minute waiting periods can add up throughout an electric car's day, and if all that time was spent charging, it'd put a lot of energy into a battery pack. "This [technology] is not just about comfort and convenience," he said.

The benefits go beyond a personal electric car that is mostly charged at home. Some EV car sharing vehicles don't get used as much as they could because the cars aren't being charged as often as they can, he said, and a few public wireless chargers stationed around a city could make those cars more available more of the time. To be fair, more regular charging stations and people willing to make sure the cars get plugged in would have the same effect, but with wireless charging, everything's just easier.

Qualcomm's Halo wireless EV charging technology comes in four flavors, with different kW ratings: 3.7, 7.4, 11 and 22. The 22-kW system is still in development, Borroni-Bird told AutoblogGreen after his presentation, adding that newer charging pads should be backward compatible so that any EV with compatible standard wireless technology can use any charging unit. Exactly how this will be deployed is something that Borroni-Bird left unspoken, since Qualcomm doesn't want to build these systems itself, but to license them to OEMs or other service providers. Qualcomm is focused on the research side of things, for example with an on-going dynamic charging (also known as in-road charging) program in France.

Share This Photo X