Qualcomm Announces Wireless Charging Partnership with Renault

By Dan Collins on 13 August 2012
  • Share
Delta Motorsports' E-4 Coupe

Delta Motorsports’ E-4 Coupe

Two of the challenges that have slowed adoption of Electric Vehicles are driving range and the time needed to charge the batteries. Improvements in technology have allowed for models such as the Nissan Leaf and upcoming Toyota Rav4 EV to come to market, but their 100-mile range and inability to “fill-up” (as a gasoline or diesel powered vehicle does) places a limit on the vehicle’s practicality. Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging, or WEVC is one of several technologies being researched to increase EVs’ range and viability.

In an attempt to address these challenges, San Diego-based wireless chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. recently announced that it has partnered with the automaker Renault for a field trial of its new wireless electric vehicle charging system later this year in London.

Specifically, Qualcomm has signed a memorandum of understanding with Renault to cooperate in an upcoming trial of the “Halo” Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) system. The trial is set to take place in London, and will investigate WEVC as a potential solution to the challenge of limited range. Renault and Qualcomm are among a group of 10 participating partners in the program. Trials are to be conducted using an E-4 Coupé, designed and built by UK-based Delta Motorsport.

Renault, while absent from the U.S. market, has been committed to pioneering EV technology and has done so in great part due to its partnership with Nissan. Renault introduced a full-electric Kangoo Van in 2011 to commercial lessees in Europe, followed shortly thereafter by the fully electric family Fluence ZE in Israel. Both models come with a battery “subscription,” meaning depleted batteries can be swapped out for fully charged ones, avoiding the lengthy charging processes and extending journey range.