Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging trialled in London


March 11, 2013

Qualcomm is carrying out a trial in London of its Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging technology. U.K. PM, David Cameron (left), supports the initiative

Qualcomm is carrying out a trial in London of its Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging technology. U.K. PM, David Cameron (left), supports the initiative

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Doing away with the cord presents obvious advantages when it comes to the challenge of keeping electric vehicles juiced-up and Qualcomm is among those putting wireless charging platforms through real-world tests to prove the technology. The company has been trialling its Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology in London with a fleet of 50 vehicles including the Delta Motorsport Delta E4 Coupé and Renault's Fluence ZE EV.

WEVC uses inductive charging technology whereby energy is transferred between components in the ground and under the vehicle. “Simply put, WEVC works in the same way as an electric tooth brush, only on a larger scale," says Qualcomm’s marketing director Joe Barrett. "Basically we use a copper coil in a pad on the ground under the car and a second pad on the vehicle. Using the magnetic field, we transfer energy from the ground based pad to the vehicle based pad."

For the London trial, Qualcomm has been working with Chargemaster, a charging station specialist with several installations in both private and public areas across the city. The company says that adding Qualcomm Halo WEVC to those sites was less expensive than installing new sites since up to 70 percent of the charging bay cost is in providing the utilities.

Potentially, systems like WEVC could make EV batteries smaller because they could be charged up regularly, in small, frequent shots. That would lead to cheaper EVs and, consequently, increased adoption.

“A good example is taxis or car share," says Barrett. "Taxis can’t plug in and plug out all the time while moving along a taxi line, so wireless is ideal.”

The London run has not yet provided the company with enough data to make a definite diagnosis of how the technology stack-up in a real-world scenario, but Barrett believes cars coming off the production line of a major automaker in 2015 or 2016 could be enabled for wireless charging. Before that, Qualcomm aims to deliver the technology for OEM evaluation.

Besides the models being used in London, there are Qualcomm Halo 3.3 kW implementations in two Citroen C1 cars that were used in the "Plugged in Places" trial in the UK during 2011 and 2012. There was also a 7 kW implementation in the Rolls Royce 102EX Phantom experimental electric vehicle displayed at CES 2013. The company will also test a 20kW system on the Lola-Drayson 200 mph (322 km/h) electric racing car. The company will be partnering with Drayson Racing to enter the FIA Formula E Championship, due to begin in 2014.

The video below illustrates how Qualcomm Halo WEVC works.

Source: Qualcomm Halo

About the Author
Antonio Pasolini Brazilian-Italian Antonio Pasolini graduated in journalism in Brazil before heading out to London for an MA in film and television studies. He fell in love with the city and spent 13 years there as a film reviewer before settling back in Brazil. Antonio's passion for green issues - and the outdoors - eventually got the best of him and since 2007 he's been writing about alternative energy, sustainability and new technology. All articles by Antonio Pasolini

The amount of time energy and effort to make such a bad idea appear workable scares me.


@ slowburn - exactly how much time and energy does it take to scare you? The idea is good why not let them test it? The taxi example is especially worthwhile.

Mark A

Mark, don't take Slowburn seriously, he's opposed to everything technological or mechanical on this site. With little to no actual stuff to back up his claims of suckiness.

One might call him a troll.


Besides, it's not like we have lots of options to run cars with no gasoline.

Freyr Gunnar

Is this means of battery charging energy efficient, or just convenient?

Charles Gage

Next they can incorporate these devices built into the street itself. This could be used at red light signals where people do the most time stopping and have a dedicated electric lane for electric cars only.

tampa florida

i think i like this company.


Link to Tesla Motors for sure & bring to the US. Must for CA state alone. Be huge for EV use.

Stephen Russell

Foiled, LOFL, yes he is that way always, consistent.

Bill Bennett

re; Mark A

Tens of thousands of man hours.

re; Freyr Gunnar

Why do you want to?

re; Foiled

Being apposed to battery powered vehicles because of the high cost and low range does not make me opposed to everything technological or mechanical.

re; Charles G. Gage

Less efficient than conductor contact but safer and more convenient.


I've met with them all and have been very impressed with the basic concept. Halo has so much potential. All we need to do is see where Qualcomm Halo goes with it now.


I've worked out why i want an electric vehicle, I hate going to servo's. Especially on the way to/from work.

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