Kia Soul EV being used for wireless charging development
Wireless power transfer system being integrated and tested using fleet of Kia Soul EVs
Technology would improve charging times and convenience
Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc., (HATCI) and Mojo Mobility, Inc., a wireless power technology company were awarded a grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies (VT) program. The grant will enable them to research and develop a system for wireless fast charging.
Mojo Mobility is known for developing highly efficient wireless charging systems capable of transferring high power without need for precise alignment between the charger and the vehicle.
“HATCI is honored to be selected as a partner with the DOE,” said Dr. Sung Hwan Cho, president, HATCI. “Innovative technologies such as this align well with one of our core goals, which is to create a vehicle experience that is intuitive and easy for the consumer.”
The relatively recent launch of the Kia Soul EV, Kia’s first electric vehicle in the U.S. market, reflects the increasing prevalence of and demand for electro-mobility and its criticality to reducing petroleum consumption in the U.S. transportation sector.
Wireless charging technology has the potential to significantly enhance the convenience of electric vehicles – and thereby increase the appeal and acceptance among consumers – while possibly enabling smaller battery pack sizes and reduced vehicle weight.
HATCI and Mojo Mobility will develop, implement and demonstrate a wireless power transfer system on a test fleet of Kia Soul EVs over three phases, at HATCI in Superior Twp., Michigan, and Mojo Mobility in Santa Clara, California.
“We are delighted to partner with Kia and the U.S. DOE to bring the cutting-edge capabilities of our position-free wireless charging systems, which allow greater flexibility for vehicle alignment with the charging surface, to Kia Motors’ electric vehicles and accelerate their adoption and ease of use for consumers,” said Dr. Afshin Partovi, CEO and founder of Mojo Mobility.
During Phase One, the partnership developed a wireless power transfer system that has more than 85 percent grid-to-vehicle efficiency and is capable of transferring in excess of 10 kW to the vehicle for fast charging. The new system will allow misalignment between the energy transmitter on the ground and the energy receiver on the vehicle, making it easier and more convenient for day-to-day usage. In Phase Two, the partnership collaborated to integrate a compact system optimized for the Soul EV and demonstrate full operation at a record 92 percent efficiency.
Real-world performance data will be gathered in the third and final phase of the project using five Kia Soul EVs and corresponding energy transmission units. This final phase will test the systems’ durability, interoperability, safety, and performance.
KMA and Mojo Mobility have not yet announced when the system will be available for purchase.
Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc.
As one of Hyundai Motor Group’s (HMG) ten centers focused on research and development (R&D), Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) was established in 1986 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. HATCI is HMG’s design, technology and engineering division for North America.
As HMG solidified its position as one of the top five global OEMs, HATCI has grown to include a strong network of engineering disciplines and increased business-focused activities to support North America’s Voice of the Customer.
HATCI supports new model development for HMG’s North American operations and global programs from our dedicated engineering facilities and support staff at affiliate sites located throughout the United States (Alabama, California, Georgia, Michigan and Washington D.C.). HATCI’s success in satisfying the demands of increasingly sophisticated consumers is a direct result of HMG’s commitment to the future of American automotive engineering.
Innovation Through Collaboration
HATCI upholds a strong R&D philosophy hinged on creative and passionate input of all team members. This philosophy is paramount to HMG’s North American operational strategy and serves as the foundation for engineering excellence and technological advancement.
Mojo Mobility Inc. (Mojo)
Mojo is a privately-held company specializing in wireless power charging systems for mobile applications ranging from wearables, mobile phones, tablets and laptops to high-power Electric Vehicles. Mojo has been at the forefront of development of wireless power technologies allowing customers to charge and power their products intuitively and easily in a variety of environments. Mojo’s unique Proprietary Near Field Power® (NFP®) places Mojo ahead of its competitors by providing unsurpassed performance, cost, user experience, and power transfer efficiencies.
Source: Kia Motors America
*** Soul EV in select markets with limited availability.