Kia Created Wireless Charging but We Can’t Have It…Yet
Tired of plugging your electric car in every night like you do your smartphone? Kia may have a fix in the near future.
Electric cars are on track to dominate the automotive market in the next couple of decades, but some consumers are resisting the EV takeover for a number of reasons, some perfectly reasonable, some not so much. One lazy complaint is that owners don't want to plug their cars into a charging port every night. But what if we could apply nifty wireless smartphone charging to electric vehicles to make charging as simple as parking in your driveway? Thankfully, some car companies are already working on developing wireless EV charging. Kia Motors announced that it has completed a three-year project to build useable wireless charging stations for the Soul EV.
Working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy plus wireless charging guru Mojo Mobility, Inc., Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc. built a working system that can efficiently charge the electric Soul. Kia's research and development center then applied the system to five Soul EVs and tested them extensively in real-world environments.
This compact system is made up of a receiver fitted to the bottom of the Soul EV and a transmitter on the ground that can transfer roughly 10 kilowatts of energy to the car through an electromagnetic field when the car is parked above the transmitter. Kia mentioned that this system allows for quick-charging, and it will still charge the car when the transmitter and receiver aren't aligned properly.
"We set out to develop wireless charging that has real world applications and is easy to use for the consumer," said William Freels, president of HATCI. "Now, with this fleet of wireless Soul EVs, we can clearly see a future of unplugged electric vehicles.”
Unfortunately, Kia says this is a project and nothing else for now, meaning it does not have any plans to make the wireless charging system available to consumers. We'll just have to deal with the slight inconvenience of plugs and charging chords for a little while longer.