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US-based semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm is developing new technology that would enable electric cars to literally charge their batteries while driving. Claiming to be the first company in the world to demonstrate dynamic charging, Qualcomm’s project involves incorporating the automotive industry with technologies that enable connected vehicles and next-generation infotainment, along with wireless charging of electric vehicles through electromagnetic induction.

Known as the Qualcomm Halo, the technology would transfer energy from plated induction coils embedded in the ground to a receiver plate installed in the underside of an electric vehicle. The car simply has to be directly over the plate to charge, without having to physically plug anything into the vehicle.

Qualcomm has several partners participating in testing trials, and this technology is being sought by corporate entities from different pertinent industries. Mercedes, for example, is reportedly in the process of developing a vehicle capable of transferring wireless energy using a format equivalent to the Qualcomm Halo.

The concept of the Halo describes EV simultaneously receiving energy as it’s consumed, while traveling at speeds in excess of 75 mph. Qualcomm demonstrated the Halo at a French military camp in Versailles, which successfully proved their model of dynamic wireless EV charging is capable of working. The setup involved a strip of asphalt roadway with 100 meters of inductive chargers laid out that project energy only when a vehicle passed over the plates. The receiver plates are capable of harnessing an electromagnetic pulse up to 29 kW. Any energy the vehicle converts into electricity is either stored in the engine’s battery or directly applied to the car’s current functions.

The power to the base pad switches on and off within 50 milliseconds when a vehicle passes overhead. Using a frequency of 85 kHz to operate, the system’s plates are visible with the testing strip’s road surface. The finalized model of the Qualcomm Halo will have the plates planted about six inches below the surface, during which they’ll still be capable of transferring energy. Not only can two vehicles easily charge while driving down the roadway at once, but the transmission of power wouldn’t be obstructed by factors like precipitation, road kill, or debris.

Qualcomm’s objective is to facilitate a revolutionary outlook on EV charging with their technology, and are seeking the cooperation of (local and federal) governments, road builders and commissions, automakers and suppliers, along with consumers.

See below for a video breakdown on the Qualcomm Halo dynamic EV charging system.

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