When Mercedes updates its S550e plug-in hybrid in 2017, it plans to offer a wireless charging (WEVC) system, manufactured by a Tier 1 power electronics supplier that has licensed Qualcomm’s Halo technology.
Qualcomm and Daimler didn’t say which supplier would be producing the wireless system for Mercedes, but in July, Qualcomm entered into a license agreement with Lear Corporation, and said that it would be collaborating with Lear on wireless programs for several OEMs.
“Lear is a leading, global, tier-one supplier of high power charging systems and related electronic components to the automotive industry,” said Steve Pazol, Qualcomm’s VP of Wireless Charging. “It is ideally positioned to develop a broad portfolio of WEVC systems, including multi-coil, solenoid and circular systems.”
Halo uses resonant magnetic inductive wireless energy transfer, and offers efficiency of around 90%, comparable to conductive charging. According to Qualcomm, the charging pad’s multi-coil design delivers high efficiency and high power, even if the pads are misaligned, so drivers do not have to park precisely, nor is there any need for complex on-board alignment systems.
In 2015, Qualcomm and Daimler issued a joint statement about their wireless strategy, which includes developing more powerful charging. While the 3.6 kW WEVC system is adequate to charge a plug-in-hybrid battery, Qualcomm noted, a pure EV with a 30-40 kWh battery needs double or even triple the charging power to fill up in a reasonable amount of time.