Toyota Motor Corp. moves closer to offering wireless charging for its electrified vehicles after inking an agreement to license the intellectual property of WiTricity Corp., a company specializing in wireless power transfer. In this charging process, drivers will only have to park their vehicles over small magnetic resonance charging pads (19.7 inches by 19.7 inches) that can sit above ground, or are embedded in parking surfaces.
Another resonator (8 inches by 8 inches) is attached under the vehicle. With this process, there is no need to plug in vehicles. According to WiTricity chief executive Eric Giler, the wireless charging system is appealing because the resonator on the vehicle can be built “extremely small” and fitted into any available space. He expects the 2016 model vehicles to be the first to have installed wireless charging components.
In an interview with Automotive News, while wireless charging systems will be oriented towards residential use initially, it would be later adapted into parking garages and places of business. Toyota injected fresh capital into WiTricity in 2011 to speed up the development of its magnetic units. WiTricity disclosed that it will license third-party suppliers to build the charging systems.
WiTricity has already licensed the technology to supplier Delphi, as well as to Audi and Mitsubishi. The company has raised almost $50 million in capital. Giler remarked. He added that that other carmakers may follow Toyota into inking a licensing agreement with WiTricity, which was founded in 2007 to commercialize a wireless charging system developed by physicists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.