Wireless charging pioneer WiTricity has announced an intellectual property license agreement with TDK Corporation, which will enable the Japanese firm to commercialize WiTricity’s patented technology to create wireless charging systems for carmakers.
TDK may be most familiar to (older) US readers for its high-quality cassette tapes, but in fact its forte is the manufacture of an iron-based material called ferrite, whose magnetic properties make it essential not only for audio and video tapes, but also for wireless charging systems. The company has a rapidly growing business as a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier to the automotive industry.
Under the new agreement, TDK will be able to offer wireless charging systems to OEMs for future plug-in vehicles. TDK is also licensed to offer compatible automotive wireless charging sources for home, commercial, and public use.
In late February, Toyota announced verification testing of a newly developed wireless charging system in cooperation with WiTricity. Toyota Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso announced in August that the next-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid would include a wireless charging option.
“There is widespread recognition that wireless charging will be central to the growth of the electric vehicle market,” said WiTricity CEO Alex Gruzen. “We are proud to help advance the market for wireless charging with such an accomplished partner as TDK.”