Hyundai-Kia eyes wireless electric vehicle charging

Soul EV wireless charging concept
Date:16 July 2015

Hyundai/Kia has teamed up with a wireless power technology company to study and develop a system capable of fast charging an electric vehicle wirelessly.

The car company’s US Technical Centre and Mojo Mobility, a wireless power technology company, have been awarded a funding grant from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Under the department’s Vehicle Technologies programme, they will research and develop a system capable of fast charging an electric vehicle wirelessly. Mojo Mobility is known for developing highly efficient wireless charging systems capable of transferring high power without need for precise alignment between the charger and the vehicle. Its development work ranges from wireless power charging systems for mobile applications ranging from wearables, mobile phones, tablets and laptops to high-power Electric Vehicles.

Said Dr Sung Hwan Cho, president of the Technical Centre, “Innovative technologies such as this align well with one of our core goals, which is to create a vehicle experience that is intuitive and easy for the consumer.”

The recent launch of the all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV, Kia’s first electric vehicle in the US market, reflects the increasing prevalence of and demand for electro-mobility and its criticality to reducing petroleum consumption in transportation. Wireless charging technology has the potential to significantly enhance the convenience of electric vehicles – and thereby increase the appeal and acceptance among consumers – while possibly enabling smaller battery pack sizes and reduced vehicle weight.


Initially, the partnership developed a wireless power transfer system that has more than 85 % grid-to-vehicle efficiency and is capable of transferring in excess of 10 kW to the vehicle for fast charging. The new system will allow misalignment between the energy transmitter on the ground and the energy receiver on the vehicle, making it easier and more convenient for day-to-day use. They they collaborated to integrate a compact system optimised for the Soul EV and to demonstrate full operation at a record 92 % efficiency. Real-world performance data will be gathered in the third and final phase of the project using five Kia Soul EVs and corresponding energy transmission units. This final phase will test the systems’ durability, interoperability, safety, and performance.


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