Wireless power transfer pioner WiTricity closed a $34-million investment round. Stage 1 Ventures led the round with participation from Air Waves Wireless Electricity and a strategic investment by Mitsubishi Corporation through its US subsidiary, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas).
The infusion of capital will enable WiTricity to continue its leading-edge wireless power platform development, expand its intellectual property portfolio, and capitalize on the commercial momentum for wireless charging for electric vehicles (EVs) and in the broader mobility market.
With WiTricity technology, charging happens automatically once the vehicle is parked without any human intervention—making EV charging hands-free and easier than conventional refueling. WiTricity technology can power enabled EVs without sacrificing energy efficiency or speed compared to conventional plug-in chargers. Inclusive of WiTricity’s acquisition of Qualcomm Halo in early 2019, WiTricity now holds more than 1,000 patents worldwide.
Mitsubishi Corporation’s investment in WiTricity reflects an innovative vision for the future of smart cities. With support from Mitsubishi Corporation’s Urban Development Group, the corporation sees a key role for wireless charging and autonomy in the future of smart cities around the world.
WiTricity’s wireless charging is essential for realizing next-generation urban city and infrastructure services that capture the shift to EV / autonomous driving. In large-scale greenfield projects in ASEAN and future projects in Japan, we pursue sustainable growth of real estate value through integrating new technologies and services. We intend to capitalize on wireless charging, IoT, AI, robots and big data in the smart city by harnessing the ecosystem of our global business and partner network.—Mitsumasa Icho, Executive Vice President, Group CEO, Urban Development Group, Mitsubishi Corporation
This financing round comes on the heels of continued WiTricity business momentum. The company recently announced new automotive Tier 1 licensees, including Lumen Freedom. In addition, McLaren’s Speedtail Hyper-GT joins the BMW 530e iPerformance as the first commercially-available EVs equipped with wireless charging capabilities.
WiTricity is actively engaged with key standards organizations from around the world—including SAE International (which just published the J2954 wireless charging standard this month, earlier post), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the China Electricity Council (CEC)—developing specifications for EV wireless charging that allow interoperability between EVs and wireless charging systems.
WiTricity has declared more than 200 patents as “standards-essential” to systems implementing these standards. WiTricity also worked closely with the CEC to support the ratification of the Chinese national GB standard (GuoBiao) for wireless EV charging.