Qualcomm Sees Licensing Model in Wireless EV Charging Technology

5/15/12Follow @bvbigelow

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) plans to use its well-established model in technology licensing as it advances innovations in wireless charging of electric vehicles (EVs), smartphones, and other devices, according to Qualcomm’s top European executive, Andrew Gilbert.

The San Diego wireless giant, which announced the formation of a wireless charging standards organization with Samsung last week, also remains on track to demonstrate its new charging technology for electric vehicles (EVs) in London this year, Gilbert said. The San Diego wireless technologies giant announced its plans to showcase the new technology with as many as 50 battery-powered taxis in November, shortly after acquiring HaloIPT, the startup developing the technology.

PM David Cameron (left) and Andrew Gilbert

Gilbert came through San Diego accompanied by a deep-green, all-electric Le Mans prototype racer that England’s Drayson Racing Technologies unveiled in London a few months ago. The Lola-Drayson B12/69 EV, which replaced a 5.5-liter Judd engine with a pure electric drive on a standard Le Mans chassis, is projected to reach speeds of 200 mph, and was designed for pit stop recharging with the HaloIPT charging system.

The Drayson racecar traveled thousands of miles to get to San Diego, but Drayson has not conducted any road tests with the vehicle yet. Gilbert said Drayson plans to begin testing its EV racer in coming months as part of a broader campaign to get the International Automobile Federation to sanction an EV competition—perhaps as soon as the souped-up EVs can race for more than 15 minutes before recharging.

During his San Diego pit stop, Gilbert also noted that Qualcomm and Samsung announced the formation of the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) last week during the CTIA conference in New Orleans. As Gilbert noted, wireless electricity transmission has been around since the days of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) and there may be as many as 20 other companies developing wireless charging technologies. The alliance plans to focus initially on wireless charging technology for devices, but the group expects to gradually draw in members from the automotive sector as well.

Qualcomm has been working in the transportation sector since the company began, mostly in telematics, and continues to provide “silicon and software” for content streaming, navigation services, and related technologies, including GM’s OnStar service. “We work directly or indirectly with … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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