Qualcomm and Renault announce memorandum of understanding on wireless electric vehicle charging technology
Qualcomm Incorporated and Renault s.a.s. announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning their intended cooperation on the London trial of Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology (earlier post), and their intent with respect to conducting preliminary studies of the integration of this technology into Renault vehicles. Renault will also join the London trial steering committee.
Qualcomm acquired substantially all of the technology and other assets of HaloIPT, a provider of wireless charging technology for electric road vehicles, in November 2011. (Earlier post.) All members of the HaloIPT team joined Qualcomm’s European Innovation Development group based in the UK.
The Qualcomm Halo WEVC system uses magnetic induction to couple power from a Base Charging Unit (BCU) to a Vehicle Charging Unit (VCU). Power is transferred to the VCU pad via magnetic coupling, and is used to charge the vehicle’s batteries. Efficiency levels of the Qualcomm Halo WEVC system are comparable to plug-in (conductive) charging systems, according to the company.
Qualcomm says that the Halo wireless charging systems are very tolerant to misalignment. The tolerance is managed magnetically due to the design of the charging pads to maintain efficiency, ensure adequate power is transferred and that system integrity is maintained. This tolerance is sufficient for the majority of parking situations, according to the company. If the alignment exceeds the set tolerance of the system the amount of power transferred may reduce and beyond a specific set limit the system will power down to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards.
The WEVC system can work at a range of frequencies in the Very Low Frequency or Low Frequency bands—typically below 300kHz. Qualcomm Halo is participating in global standards discussions relating to many wireless charging topics, including selection of the optimal operating frequency for WEVC.
The WEVC system manages changes in the air gap beween BCU and VCU, automatically reducing power if needed to safeguard the integrity of the charging process. This also means that the system can compensate for different road clearance heights when the vehicle is fully laden.
In November 2011, Qualcomm announced a WEVC trial in London to commence in 2012 that is supported by a cross section of stakeholders ranging from government departments and agencies to commercial and private sector enterprises. The objectives of the trial are to evaluate the commercial viability of wireless EV charging and gain user feedback on the use of WEVC-enabled vehicles.
Renault’s participation in the WEVC London trial aligns with Qualcomm’s drive to make charging of electric vehicles simple and effortless.—Anthony Thomson, vice president of business development and marketing at Qualcomm
Our intended participation in the WEVC London trial with Qualcomm complements Renault’s European research and development project involving 10 partners to demonstrate wireless inductive charging of electric vehicles in a public environment with a high level of performance and safety. The deployment of wireless inductive charging requires inter-operability between cars and ground systems within common European and, hopefully, worldwide standards.—Jacques Hebrard, vice president of Energy and Environment Advanced Projects director at Renault