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Delphi aims to make electric vehicle wireless charging a reality

26 October 2010

Delphi Automotive has reached an agreement with WiTricity Corp, a wireless energy transfer technology provider, to develop automatic wireless charging products for hybrid and electric vehicles. The collaboration between the two companies will help establish a global infrastructure of safe and convenient charging options for consumer and commercial electric vehicles.

“This is groundbreaking technology that could enable automotive manufacturers to integrate wireless charging directly into the design of their hybrid and electric vehicles,” said Randy Sumner, director, global hybrid vehicle development, Delphi Packard Electrical/Electronic Architecture. “Delphi’s expertise in global engineering, validation and manufacturing coupled with WiTricity’s patented wireless energy transfer technology uniquely positions us to make wireless charging of electric vehicles a reality.”

Sumner said the wireless charging system would involve no plugs or charging cords. Drivers would simply park their electric vehicle over a wireless energy source that sits on the garage floor, or is embedded in a paved parking spot. The system will automatically transfer power to the battery charger on the vehicle. WiTricity’s patented wireless energy transfer technology makes use ofhighly resonant magnetic coupling, and can efficiently transfer power over significantly larger distances and allow more misalignment due to parking than inductive systems can.

According to Eric Giler, chief executive officer, WiTricity, their wireless system can already transfer over 3,300 watts - enough to fully charge an electric car at the same rate as most residential plug-in chargers.

”Charging an electric car should be as easy as parking it in your garage or parking spot,” Giler said. “WiTricity’s high efficiency wireless energy transfer technology is ideally suited for electric vehicle charging, and our partnership with Delphi will help to quickly get this technology deployed in OEM vehicles and infrastructure projects worldwide.”

“Delphi can bridge the gap between the laboratory and the highway by providing E/E systems integration expertise, a global manufacturing and engineering footprint and high-voltage, high-power components specifically engineered for the hybrid and electric vehicles of today and tomorrow,” Sumner said.

Wireless charging technology will need to co-exist with plug-in charging solutions, Sumner added, so that electric vehicle drivers have the ability to charge their vehicle when they are away from their wireless charging source.

Delphi also makes a Portable Electric Vehicle Charger that fits conveniently in the trunk of an electric vehicle. The user-friendly, UL-listed charging system plugs into any standard 120-volt outlet to enable safe electric vehicle battery charging at home or away. The charging unit can also be integrated into stationary charging applications.


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