Qualcomm demos how electric vehicles can be wirelessly charged while driving

Renault has demonstrated what it calls "dynamic wireless electric vehicle charging" (DEVC), using a couple of modified versions of its Kangoo Z.E van and a 100-metre test track with built-in conductive wireless charging, built by Vedecom and Qualcomm.

The technology, which is being trialled at the Fabric technology test track south of Paris, is based around U.S. tech company Qualcomm's Halo wireless charging system, which is used to charge Formula E's BMW i8 safety auto. The €9 million FABRIC project is mostly funded by the European Commission, and its participants include 25 organizations from nine European countries, including vehicle makers, suppliers, and automotive research groups.

"Contributing to this exciting project has enabled us to test and further research dynamic charging on our Kangoo Z.E. vehicles", said Eric Feunteun, Electric Vehicle Program Director, Groupe Renault.

Electric vehicle charging is one area where Qualcomm could grow as it strives to reduce its dependence on a cooling smartphone market. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, our QCT semiconductor business.

Halo is being developed for "simultaneous charging", in which two cars on the same track can charge dynamically at the same time.

Renault has revealed a vision of the future that could see pure-electric vehicles charged as they cruise along the highway at more than 100km/h.

"We are inventors. We are wireless electric vehicle charging".

The track for testing was set up at Versailles near Paris, and Vedecom, the company from France tested it under the FABRIC project (a €9 million project).

Already partly funded by the European Union, the wireless charging project will continue testing until December before a feasibility study begins to address the technological and economic implications of rolling out the wireless charging on European roads. FABRIC's main goal is to conduct feasibility analysis of wireless DEVC as a means of EV range extension. "I am immensely proud of what we have achieved". The test vehicles were equipped with receivers in the underbody to magnetically pick up the charge and convert it to DC power.

  • Arturo Norris