Siemens is investing $25 million and acquiring a minority stake in U.S.-based WiTricity, a wireless charging technology company. The two companies will work together to drive innovation in the emerging market for wireless electric vehicle (EV) charging for electric passenger and light-duty commercial vehicles. Siemens will also become a technology license partner.
“Combining Siemens’ global footprint and EV charging portfolio with WiTricity’s innovative technology is the first step towards elevating our offering in the wireless charging space,” says Markus Mildner, CEO of Siemens eMobility. “This will speed up deployment of wireless charging technology, support standardization, and advance public charging infrastructure with interoperable solutions for drivers’ convenience.”
WiTricity’s technology is a charging pad mounted on or in the ground which exchanges power with a receiving coil attached on the underside of the EV. There are no moving parts or physical connectors. Instead, a magnetic field transfers energy between the charging pad and the vehicle coil when the vehicle is over the charging pad. The system uses resonant induction between the charger and receiver in order to provide high efficiency at a variety of ground clearances, from low-slung sports cars to SUVs.
The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to accelerate the maturing of wireless charging technologies together with OEMs and infrastructure partners to simultaneously ensure their cost-effective availability worldwide.
“Wireless charging enables a driver to just park and walk away, returning to a charged vehicle. Wireless charging makes EVs more appealing for individual owners and more cost-effective for commercial operators,” states Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity. “We are excited to partner with a leader like Siemens to help drive this new world of compelling solutions. Siemens and WiTricity share the goal of improving EV ownership and fleet management with the matchless simplicity and reliability of wireless charging.”