Auto Startup HEVO Wants to Make EV Charging Wireless

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【Summary】For now, most EV charging stations today – around 582,000 hubs – rely on traditional cords and plugs for connection to the car.

Michael Cheng    Sep 11, 2018 10:18 AM PT
Auto Startup HEVO Wants to Make EV Charging Wireless

According to a report from Bloomberg NEF, the number of EV charging points in public locations worldwide is projected to increase by 30 percent by the end of 2018. For now, most EV charging stations today – around 582,000 hubs – rely on traditional cords and plugs for connection to the car.

In an effort to make EV charging more seamless, EV startup HEVO is set to revolutionize the industry with wireless solutions. Like cordless charging pods for smartphones, the company is developing a plate that can charge an EV battery just by driving up to the structure. This game-changing technology is applicable to EV fleets, as well as electric buses, self-driving cars and drones.

Electromagnetic Induction

HEVO's EV charging station utilizes a flat pad to transmit power wirelessly to a receiver mounted under the car. The cutting-edge service is accessible through a mobile app, allowing individuals to view the status of the charging hub, locate public charging points and pay for the service via the cloud. Based on HEVO's framework for its wireless EV charging system, end-users never have to step out of the car to power up their battery.

"The equipment on the vehicle is cheaper and more lightweight than existing plug-in charging equipment by a factor of five to 10 times," said Jeremy McCool, Founder of HEVO and a former US Army Captain.

"The most promising near-term applications are en-route charging for buses. For widespread adoption, several major automakers would need to fully back the technology."

The startup's wireless solution for EVs could be leveraged for city-planning projects. Because the pods offer space-saving benefits, the units can be installed within rest stops, residential spaces and parking lots without cluttering the general area.

Furthermore, less maintenance is required for long-term upkeep, as less components are prone to damage (cord and plugs degrade steadily when frequently used).

Preparing for Full-scale Adoption

HEVO still has a long way to go before it can effectively roll out its products to consumers, which will come with a projected price tag of $2,500 per unit. HEVO is expected to enter full production mode by Q1 of 2019.

To accommodate demand for the wireless charging stations, the business intends to triple its output capacity by investing in hiring programs and expanding the company's presence in California, Asia and the Netherlands. The startup has also partnered with two car parts suppliers, three energy companies and three automakers to boost development and adoption.

From a financing perspective, HEVO is in the process of raising fresh funds for its upcoming projects via a Series A round.

"Wireless charging technology has improved steadily and can definitely make charging at home more convenient," said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transportation analysis at Bloomberg NEF.

"We're also future-proofing for autonomous electric vehicles. If you don't need a human to park the car, you shouldn't need to a human to charge the car."

Leading car brands with existing wireless EV charging products include BMW (530e hybrid) and Mercedes-Benz (S-Class plug-in hybrid; supplied by Qualcomm).

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