Superior Township’s Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center Inc. and a wireless power technology company have been awarded a funding grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to research and develop a system that will be able to quickly charge an electric vehicle wirelessly.
“(The Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center) is honored to be selected as a partner with the Department of Energy,” says Dr. Sung Hwan Cho, president of the technical center. “Innovative technologies such as this align well with one of our core goals, which is to create a vehicle experience that is intuitive and easy for the consumer.”
The technical center and Mojo Mobility will develop, implement, and demonstrate a wireless power transfer system on a test fleet of Kia Soul EVs, Kia’s first electric vehicle in the U.S. market. Mojo Mobility is known for developing wireless charging systems capable of transferring high power. Testing will take place in Superior Township, which is near Ann Arbor, and at Mojo Mobility’s facilities in Santa Clara, Calif.
The Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center was established in 1986 as Hyundai Motor Group’s North American design, technology, and engineering facility.
Cho says wireless charging has the potential to enhance the convenience of electric vehicles and possibly enable smaller battery pack sizes, reducing vehicle weight. For phase one, the partnership developed a wireless power transfer system that has more than 85 percent efficiency and is capable of transferring 10 kilowatts to a vehicle.
During phase two of the project, the partnership integrated a compact system optimized for the Soul EV and demonstrated full operation at 92 percent efficiency. Performance data will be gathered in the third and final phase of the project using five Kia Soul EVs.