WiTricity Corporation, IHI and Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) have joined to research and develop electric vehicle wireless charging systems compatible with electric grids.

Wireless charging systems allow transfer of energy from a source placed on or under the ground to a vehicle equipped with an energy capture device.

Charging occurs automatically when the vehicle is parked, with no physical contact between the vehicle and the charging source. WiTricity has already developed and brought to market its patented magnetic resonance wireless charging system.

WiTricity says it has developed a system that can transfer energy further and more efficiently in comparison to conventional systems such as electromagnetic induction and microwave transmission, by being able to deliver up to 3.3 kW of charging power  across distances of 20cm (almost 8 inches) and at an efficiency rate of more than 90%.

The three companies will evaluate ways to incorporate wireless charging systems into EV charging infrastructure as well as clarify legal matters regarding the new technology and create proposals for rules governing the use of such systems. They will also test wireless charging systems with EVs fitted with power charging receptors internally.

"Electric vehicles offer great potential for reducing CO2 emissions and reliance on fossil fuels," said WiTricity CEO Eric Giler. "However, they must be user friendly, and wireless charging is an important feature that greatly improves the user experience. 

Kazuaki Kama, IHI president and CEO said: "Wireless charging is strategic to IHI. We believe user-friendly wireless charging will contribute to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

"Working together with Mitsubishi Motors and WiTricity, leaders in electric vehicles and wireless technology, we aim to become a leading world-wide supplier of wireless charging stations for public, commercial, and residential parking environments."