Kia’s Popular and Iconic Five-Door Vehicle Used to Develop Fantastic New Technology
- Wireless system unplugs the future of electric vehicles
- Three-year development project successfully progressed from development to real-world performance
- System can wirelessly charge cars with up to 85 percent efficiency, even when misaligned
SUPERIOR Twp., MI, April 10, 2018 – Marking an important step in the future of electric vehicles, the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) and Mojo Mobility, Inc. (Mojo) have completed a three-year project to develop a fast-charging wireless power transfer system on a test fleet of Kia Soul EVs1. The project, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, paves the way for the future of electric vehicles in which plugs are no longer necessary.
HATCI and Mojo, a wireless technology company, worked together to develop a compact wireless charging system that is capable of transferring more than 10 kW to the vehicle for fast charging while targeting an 85 percent grid-to-vehicle efficiency. The project installed the system on five Soul EVs and tested them in real-world applications for durability, safety and performance.
The system works by using an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two coils—a transmitter on the ground and a receiver on the bottom of the vehicle. The driver simply parks the car above the transmitter to begin charging and then energy is sent through an inductive coupling to an electrical device, which uses that energy to charge the electric vehicles’ battery. The system is so efficient it will allow some misalignment between the transmitter and the receiver, making it easier and more convenient for owner’s day-to-day use.
“We’re thrilled with the success of the system and its efficiency,” said William Freels, HATCI President. “We set out to develop wireless charging that has real world applications and is easy to use for the consumer. Now, with this fleet of wireless Soul EVs, we can clearly see a future of unplugged electric vehicles.”
There is no current plan to offer the wireless charging system on production vehicles for sale to consumers; however, the success of this development project suggests similar systems are possible on future Kia electric vehicles.
About Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI)
As one of Hyundai Motor Group’s (HMG) six centers focused on research and development (R&D), 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, and Michigan). 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. 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.
About 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 the 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® places Mojo ahead of its competitors by providing unsurpassed performance, cost, user experience, and power transfer efficiencies.
About Kia Motors America
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America continues to top quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly assembled in West Point, Georgia.*
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* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
1 Wireless vehicle charging currently not available on production Soul EV vehicles.