Qualcomm Incorporated today announced the first Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) trial for London in what is a UK and industry-leading initiative. Qualcomm is collaborating with the UK Government, as well as the Mayor of London's office and Transport for London (TfL) to deliver the trial.
The pre-commercial trial is expected to start in early 2012 and will involve as many as 50 electric vehicles (EVs). The trial will use Qualcomm wireless inductive power transfer technology that enables high-efficiency power transfer across a large air gap. It is very easy to use: the driver simply parks the vehicle in the usual way and the system automatically aligns for power transfer, making parking easier and charging hassle free.
The trial, which will be based partially in Tech City, the East London cluster receiving the strong support of the Prime Minister, is planned to leverage the Tech City entrepreneurial community and encourage companies to innovate around services and applications, in order to enhance the smart EV experience.
Prime Minister David Cameron said, "This wireless charging technology is a giant leap forward for the electric car industry and I am delighted that London businesses will be among the first to benefit from the trial. Creative, high-tech advances such as this are extremely important as we work to rebalance our economy, and the decision to trial this at Tech City shows confidence in the UK as an ideal place for innovation and investment."
"This trial is a great example of how vehicle recharging could work in the future. This private sector investment shows how innovative solutions will help ensure electric cars are a real option for motorists," said Justine Greening, secretary of state for transport. "This project supplements the 30 million pounds Sterling Government fund to kick-start installation of recharging points in eight areas across the country."
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, "In my quest to deliver cleaner air for the capital, I want London to be the electric car epicenter of Europe. Encouraging a massive uptake in electric driving is key to this vision of becoming a zero-emission city. We are already on this path with Transport for London delivering a citywide charging network, but we need to go further. This trial is an innovative new facet of my plans, with the promise to help drivers go electric with even greater confidence."
"Qualcomm is very pleased to be participating in the London WEVC pre-commercial trial, which builds on the existing trials of electric vehicles sponsored by the Technology Strategy Board and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles in the UK," said Andrew Gilbert, executive vice president of European Innovation Development at Qualcomm. "Wireless charging eradicates the EV plug-in cable and makes charging of electric vehicles simple and easy for drivers."
Addison Lee, the UK's largest minicab company, and Chargemaster plc, the leading European operator of advanced EV charging infrastructure, have also agreed to participate in the WEVC London trial.
"As a company with a keen eye on the future, we believe that the WEVC London trial will provide unique insights into how wirelessly charged electric vehicles could be used in our business," said John Griffin, chairman, Addison Lee.
"We are delighted to be part of this exciting wireless EV/PHEV charging program," said David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster plc. "The London trial will complement our existing electric vehicle infrastructure programs and keep London and the UK at the forefront of electric vehicle charging technology."
A Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging steering committee with representatives from TfL, the Mayor's office, and central Government will be set up to oversee the trial. The trial is open to any company, such as vehicle manufacturers, that wishes to participate.