WiTricity Acquires Qualcomm Halo Wireless Charging Assets

FEB 13 2019 BY MARK KANE 7

WiTricity and Qualcomm join forces in wireless charging

WiTricity announced the acquisition from Qualcomm of a certain technology platform and IP assets, concerning wireless charging systems, which will result in the unification of technology platforms to accelerate wireless charging of EVs.

Qualcomm engaged in wireless charging around 2011 when it acquired British start-up HaloIPT. Then, the company was supplying a wireless charging system for Formula E support cars (BMW i3/i8).

The deal doesn’t mean that Qualcomm decided to leave Halo wireless charging, as Qualcomm Incorporated will become a minority WiTricity shareholder.

“WiTricity, the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer, today announced the acquisition from Qualcomm Incorporated and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. of certain technology platform and IP assets, which will bring over 1,500 patents and patent applications related to wireless charging that WiTricity will own or control. Through the transaction, Qualcomm Incorporated will become a minority WiTricity shareholder.”

According to the press release, the first series-produced plug-in car, factory equipped with wireless charging, is the BMW 530e iPerformance. However, we didn’t see any reports on such an option delivered to actual customers yet.

“This acquisition will streamline technology development that enables automakers to deliver an EV charging experience that is seamless and efficient. By simply parking over wireless charging ground pads located at home, in garages, and public parking spots, EV drivers will be able to recharge hands-free, without the need for any bulky cables, virtually eliminating the need to ever plug in. Additionally, electrified autonomous vehicle (AV) fleets will require wireless charging since there will be no human drivers present to plug in.”

“Qualcomm Incorporated and WiTricity have been working collaboratively with global standards organizations, which currently leverage reference designs from each company. This acquisition will simplify ratification of the standard and help ensure interoperability across automakers. EV drivers will be able to use any standards-compatible pad to charge their vehicles.”

“With all major car manufacturers and climate-focused nations like China racing to phase out internal combustion vehicles, the global electric vehicle market is at a tipping point. It is estimated that more than 120 million EVs will be on the road by 2030 with over $50 billion being invested in charging infrastructure. By 2040, 200 million EVs will be on the road in China alone; and globally, 559 million — or a third of all cars. All of these could be charged simply and wirelessly with WiTricity’s unique technology.

The acquisition follows other significant recent milestones for WiTricity. The company has signed several new licensing deals including Mahle in Germany and Anjie Wireless in China. Earlier this year, Honda and WiTricity demonstrated their wireless vehicle-to-grid charging model at CES in Las Vegas, leveraging WiTricity’s DRIVE 11 wireless charging system. 2018 also saw the introduction of the world’s first vehicle that is factory equipped with wireless charging, the BMW 530e iPerformance sedan.”

Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity said:

“WiTricity’s wireless charging technology is key to the future of mobility which is clearly electric, and increasingly shared and autonomous. EV drivers and fleets demand a simple, effortless charging experience. Bringing the Qualcomm Halo technology into the WiTricity portfolio will simplify global interoperability and significantly accelerate commercialization. This is an exciting day for WiTricity, for automakers, for prospective EV buyers, and ultimately for any company deploying fleets of autonomous vehicles.”

Steve Pazol, advisor, and former vice president and GM, Wireless Charging, Qualcomm Incorporated said:

“With Qualcomm technology and expertise, we have been able to deliver innovative automotive solutions, like Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC), not only to support the shared vision of a more efficient, safer and cleaner urban mobility, but also to transform the automotive experience. Qualcomm is confident that combining WEVC under WiTricity’s leadership will create accessibility to and demand by customers for this exciting technology.”

Categories: Charging

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7 Comments on "WiTricity Acquires Qualcomm Halo Wireless Charging Assets"

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I thought wireless charging was cool before I owned an EV but after getting use to the painless process of plugging in a cord every day, this tech seems unnecessary. I mean, wireless charging for cell phones is relatively cool (when it works) but you have to set your phone just right on the charger. I can only imagine the parking challenged types being much more frustrated by backing up and reparking 20 times to get centered over the charging mat. Do you know someone who always parks crooked? Exactly. Nothing a good ole 24ft charging cable can’t fix though.

We could lean out the process of having to walk around to the opposite side of the car to open a gas filler style cover with dangling rubber boots. What I would like to see more of are those quick opening/closing automatic charge port covers located on the driver side front fender.

After four years of pluggin in daily, I want my wireless charging NOW – The standard has been decided so just ship the darn thing!

i couldn’t agree more. The idea of manually ‘plugging-in/pumping fuel’ into the vehicle is the last remaining process tied to old school ICE vehicles. And with wireless charging comes cardless payments when charging away from home. And with autonomy, the vehicle can go charge itself.

Tesla has been mum about wireless charging, which has be wondering what’s coming next.

Wireless charging has its place for those who have balance, or strength problems, or who have arthritic problems and can’t deal with the strength and somewhat precision needed to negotiate the charging cord.

Wireless charging will be the end-game for EVs, first parked cars, then moving ones. Add V2G for the stationary ones and we might end up with the most stable electrical grid in written history.

Hello, leukemia.

I didn’t know the F-Pace can be charged at all!