Being able to wirelessly charge an electric car could soon become more of a reality. Several companies have been testing the technology and now Kia has announced that it has completed a real world test with the Soul EV. Kia teamed up with Mojo Mobility, Inc. for a three-year project to develop a fast-charging wireless power transfer system on a test fleet of Kia Soul EVs.
Kia also worked with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to test the technology that is capable of transferring more than 10 kW of electricity to the vehicle with an 85 percent grid-to-vehicle efficiency. The project installed the system on five Kia Soul EVs, which were then tested in real-world applications for durability, safety and performance.
If you’re not familiar with how the technology works, the wireless charging system works by using an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two coils—a transmitter on the ground and a receiver on the bottom of the vehicle. The system is similar to a wireless charging system for your phone or electric toothbrush. The driver simply parks the car above the transmitter to begin charging and then energy is sent through an inductive coupling to an electrical device, which uses that energy to charge the electric vehicles’ battery.
Even with the success of the three year test, Kia says there are no current plans to offer the technology on a production vehicle.