WiTricity, the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer (WPT), has acquired from Qualcomm Incorporated and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. certain technology platform and IP assets, which will bring more than 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.
In 2011, Qualcomm had acquired the technology and other assets of HaloIPT, a leading provider of wireless charging technology for electric road vehicles. Subsequently, Qualcomm packaged its WPT technology under the Halo brand.
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.
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.—Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity
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.
It is estimated that more than 120 million EVs will be on the road by 2030 with more than $50 billion being invested in charging infrastructure. By 2040, 200 million EVs are projected to be on the road in China alone; globally, 559 million.
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.
WiTricity technology licensing agreements have been announced with Toyota, Aptiv (formerly Delphi), Mahle, TDK, IHI, Shindengen, Daihen, BRUSA, and Anjie Wireless. Global corporate investors now include Qualcomm, Toyota, Intel Capital, Delta Electronics Capital, Foxconn, Haier, and Schlumberger. WiTricity is also collaborating directly with leading carmakers to drive global standards for wireless charging systems.
Standards initiatives include the SAE International, International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), STILLE, China Automotive Technology & Research Center (CATARC), China Electricity Council and the Chinese Electric Power Research Institute (CEPRI).