The UK has taken a step forward towards the deployment of wireless charging for electric vehicles with Qualcomm Incorporated, the California-based global mobile and wireless technology leader, investing in Chargemaster Plc, the UK’s largest manufacturer and operator of electric vehicle charging points.
The move, which is seen as an acceleration of the planned UK development, production and deployment of Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology, will help bring about a significant step-change in the practical everyday operation of electric vehicles.
Chargemaster, based in Luton, designs, develops, manufactures and operates charging points for electric vehicles. It has produced over 27,000 charging points for use in public, workplace and domestic locations and operates POLAR, the UKs largest network of public charging points.
Chargemaster sees a market for charging pads at domestic, workplace and public locations and the new points will supplement the company’s existing EV charging network. The company has already installed more than 10,000 ‘wireless ready’ public and workplace charging points in the UK and Europe, which can be easily adapted to include the new WEVC systems.
The Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology utilises resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy from a ground-based pad to a pad integrated into the vehicle. The base pad and vehicle pad are coupled magnetically and energy is transferred wirelessly into the vehicle and used to charge the vehicle’s batteries. The base pad may be mounted on a garage or road surface or buried below the ground. This advanced technology is highly efficient and is designed to allow easy alignment when parking.
Wireless charging removes the need to retrieve a cable out of the boot of an electric car and plug it into a charging point wherever the car needs recharging. Many car manufacturers are planning to incorporate wireless charging into their electric and plug in hybrid cars as original equipment in the near future.
David Martell, CEO of Chargemaster said, “We have been working with Qualcomm for several years now and this investment is a natural progression. We are very excited about helping to bring the next major evolution in electric motoring to the market, making the electric driving experience even more enjoyable and practical for daily use.”
Dr Anthony Thomson, Vice President of Business Development & Marketing, Qualcomm Europe, said, “Qualcomm Halo WEVC is viewed as the future of EV charging by many EV manufacturers. Chargemaster is a leader in the deployment of charging infrastructure and by making this investment we are taking another step towards deployment of a convenient and easy to use WEVC network. The goal being to improve the user experience and drive the uptake of electric vehicles.”