Kiwi wireless charging on the move

A wireless vehicle charging technology developed by researchers at the University of Auckland is being adopted in the US by Lear Corporation, a Fortune 500 supplier of automotive electrical products.

Lear has partnered with global engineering and science company Qualcomm – which acquired the business set up by University of Auckland to develop the technology in 2011 – and is now marketing the technology as Qualcomm Halo.

Qualcomm’s Halo charging technology uses wireless charging pads bolted to the ground and the base of the car. All the driver has to do is park over the pad for the car to start charging. The technology works by the pad on the floor generating an electromagnetic field in the space above it – and an average height of around 150mm for the field currently provides the best efficiency.

Qualcomm is continuing to work with University of Auckland to refine the technology to enable drivers to charge up while on the move.

If successful, the technology would help combat ‘range anxiety’, a key roadblock to electronic vehicle uptake.

“With a limitless range, your car will be able to keep going long after you’re ready for a rest stop,” Qualcomm said on its website.

Two University of Auckland professors, John Boys and Grant Covic, pioneered wireless and inductive power transfer technology.