• Wireless system unplugs the future of electric vehicles
  • Three-year development project successfully progressed from development to real-world performance
  • System can wirelessly charge cars with up to 85% efficiency, even when misaligned
The trial was done with US spec Soul EVs

The trial was done with US spec Soul EVs

The Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center in Superior, Michigan, (HATCI) and Mojo Mobility (Mojo) have completed a three year project to develop a fast charging wireless power transfer system on a test fleet of Kia Soul EVs.

The project, in collaboration with the US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, paves the way for the future of electric vehicles in which plugs are no longer necessary.

HATCI and Mojo, a wireless technology company, worked together to develop a compact wireless charging system that is capable of transferring more than 10 kW to the vehicle for fast charging while targeting an 85% grid to vehicle efficiency. The project installed the system on five Soul EVs and tested them in real world applications for durability, safety and performance.

The system works by using an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two coils - a transmitter on the ground and a receiver on the bottom of the vehicle. The driver simply parks the car above the transmitter to begin charging and then energy is sent through an inductive coupling to an electrical device which uses that energy to charge the electric vehicle's battery. The system is so efficient it will allow some misalignment between the transmitter and the receiver, making it easier and more convenient for owner's day to day use.

"We're thrilled with the success of the system and its efficiency," said William Freels, HATCI president. "We set out to develop wireless charging that has real world applications and is easy to use for the consumer. Now, with this fleet of wireless Soul EVs, we can clearly see a future of unplugged electric vehicles."

There is no current plan to offer the wireless charging system on production vehicles for sale to consumers; however, the success of this development project suggests similar systems are possible on future Kia electric vehicles.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more