Qualcomm has sold off its Halo wireless electric vehicle charging platform and IP assets to MIT spinoff WiTriCity in exchange for an unspecified minority stake in TriCity.
The deal will bring over 1,500 patents and patent applications related to wireless charging that WiTricity will own or control. Through the transaction, Qualcomm will become "a minority" WiTricity shareholder, WiTricity said.
Halo technology is an entire system for charging an EV, enabling drivers to recharge simply parking over wireless charging ground pads. The technology involved includes power conversion, tuning, wireless power transfer, magnetics, control, communications and safety systems.
This acquisition will streamline technology development that enables automakers to deliver efficient EV charging. By simply parking over wireless charging ground pads located at home, in garages, and public parking spots, EV drivers will be able to recharge hands-free, without the need for any bulky cables, virtually eliminating the need to ever plug in. Additionally, electrified autonomous vehicle (AV) fleets will require wireless charging since there will be no human drivers present to plug in.
Qualcomm Incorporated and WiTricity have been working with global standards organizations, which currently leverage reference designs from each company. This acquisition will simplify ratification of the standard and help ensure interoperability across automakers. EV drivers will be able to use any standards-compatible pad to charge their vehicles.
It is estimated that more than 120 million EVs will be on the road by 2030 with over $50 billion being invested in charging infrastructure. By 2040, 200 million EVs will be on the road in China alone; and globally, 559 million -- or a third of all cars.
WiTricity has signed several new licensing deals including Mahle in Germany and Anjie Wireless in China. Earlier this year, Honda and WiTricity demonstrated their wireless vehicle-to-grid charging model at CES in Las Vegas, leveraging WiTricity’s DRIVE 11 wireless charging system. 2018 also saw the introduction of the world’s first vehicle that is factory equipped with wireless charging, the BMW 530e iPerformance sedan.