Qualcomm calls it a 'breakthrough.' We just think it's super cool.
If there's one technology that would instantly remove the phrase "range anxiety" from our vocabulary, it's dynamic charging. That's the fancy way to say an electric car that is able to charge its battery while moving. Lots of test projects have been instituted around the world, and today Renault and Qualcomm announced an update to Qualcomm's previously stationary-only Halo wireless charging technologies that can charge an EV on the road. Specifically, Qualcomm's dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC) tech can send 20 kilowatts into an EV even at highway speeds.
Qualcomm installed the receivers into two Renault Kangoo electric vehicles. The 100-meter FABRIC test track was built by Vedecom at Satory, Versailles, near Paris, France as part of a nine-million euro project partly funded by the European Commission. Qualcomm says that these are the components used in the FABRIC DEVC system:
The 100-meter track, comprised of 4 x 25 meter stubs, each running from its own power supply.Each stub powers 14 Base Array Network (BAN) blocks coupled magnetically into the backbone cable.
The power is transmitted across the air gap to two 10 kW vehicle pads (VPs) located under the EV. The vehicle system converts the 85-kHz AC and delivers DC power as requested to the EV's battery management system.
Qualcomm Halo, the non-moving kind, has been tested for three years at the FIA Formula E race series. Halo has also been available as aftermarket upgrades to some plug-in vehicles, but it's only part of the puzzle. Qualcomm says that wireless – and especially dynamic wireless – charging is important for self-driving vehicles. After all, the company says, "you cannot call a car 'autonomous' if it cannot fuel/recharge itself."
Qualcomm Demonstrates Dynamic Electric Vehicle Charging
SAN DIEGO —May 18, 2017 — Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today demonstrated dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC), which allows vehicles to charge while driving. Based on the Qualcomm Halo™ wireless electric vehicle charging technology (WEVC), Qualcomm Technologies designed and built a wireless DEVC system capable of charging an electric vehicle (EV) dynamically at up to 20 kilowatts at highway speeds. Qualcomm Technologies also demonstrated simultaneous charging, in which two vehicles on the same track can charge dynamically at the same time. The vehicles can pick up charge in both directions along the track, and in reverse, further showcasing how the Qualcomm Halo DEVC system has been designed to support real-world implementation of dynamic charging.
The dynamic charging demonstrations took place at the 100-meter FABRIC* test track, which has been built by VEDECOM at Satory Versailles. Qualcomm Technologies and VEDECOM integrated the source part of the Qualcomm Halo DEVC system in the test track, while VEDECOM and Renault integrated the receiving part onto two Renault Kangoo vehicles. Following today's demonstration, the Qualcomm Halo DEVC system will be handed over to VEDECOM to perform tests for FABRIC. These tests will evaluate the operation, safety and efficiency of energy transfer to the vehicles for a wide range of practical scenarios including vehicle identification and authorization on entering track, power level agreement between track and vehicle, speed and alignment of vehicle along track.
FABRIC is a €9 million project, mostly funded by the European Commission, addressing the technological feasibility, economic viability, and socio-environmental sustainability of wireless DEVC. The project began in January 2014 and will continue through December 2017, and is being undertaken by a consortium of 25 organizations from nine European countries, including automotive manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and research organizations from automotive, road and energy infrastructure domains. VEDECOM is one of the FABRIC collaborators and responsible for providing the demonstration of the charging solution at Satory using the Qualcomm Halo DEVC system. FABRIC's main goal is to conduct feasibility analysis of wireless DEVC as a means of EV range extension.
"Our engineers and management have fully supported this project since the very beginning as it aligns perfectly with our focus on EVs, charging systems and mobility services," says Luc Marbach, CEO, VEDECOM. "We are a public-private partnership focused on pre-competitive research. The installation of one of the world's first DEVC test platforms has provided us with a unique test facility and we look forward to expanding our expertise with the future testing."
"Being part of this exciting project has enabled us to test and further research dynamic charging on our Kangoo Z.E. vehicles," said Eric Feunteun, Electric Vehicle Program Director, Groupe Renault. "Our engineers have worked very closely with the Qualcomm Technologies and VEDECOM teams to complete the DEVC system integration demonstration as part of FABRIC. We see dynamic charging as a great vision to further enhance the ease of use of EVs, thus the accessibility of EVs for all."
"We are inventors. We are WEVC. This dynamic charging demonstration is the embodiment of this," said Steve Pazol, vice president and general manager, Wireless Charging, Qualcomm Incorporated. "I am immensely proud of what we have achieved. The combination of a global team of expert engineers and Qualcomm Halo technology, which covers all aspects of WEVC systems, irrespective of the magnetics used, has enabled us to really push the boundaries of the possible and outline our vision for future urban mobility."
About Qualcomm Qualcomm's technologies powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people. We pioneered 3G and 4G – and now we are leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our products are revolutionizing industries, including automotive, computing, IoT, healthcare and data center, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, our QCT semiconductor business. For more information, visit Qualcomm's website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.
* FABRIC stands for FeAsiBility analysis and development of on-Road chargIng solutions for future electriC vehicles. Qualcomm and Qualcomm Halo are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology is licensed by Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm Halo reference designs and prototypes are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.