The Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center will use a federal grant to develop wireless electric-vehicle charging technology in a partnership with Mojo Mobility, Kia has announced.
The project, which is already underway, received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to develop the charging system.
Kia is tying in the project with its 2015 Soul EV. The two entities will develop, implement and demonstrate a wireless power transfer system on a test fleet of Kia Soul EVs over three phases, at the center in Superior Township, Michigan, and Mojo Mobility in Santa Clara, Calif.
During the first phase, the partnership developed a wireless power transfer system that offers more than 85 percent grid-to-vehicle efficiency and is capable of transferring in excess of 10 kilowatts to the vehicle for fast charging.
The new system will allow misalignment between the energy transmitter on the ground and the energy receiver on the vehicle. In the second phase, the partnership collaborated to integrate a compact system optimized for the Soul EV and demonstrate full operation at 92 percent efficiency.
Real-world performance data will be gathered in the third phase of the project using five Kia Soul EVs and corresponding energy transmission units. This final phase will test the system's durability, interoperability, safety, and performance.
Kia is also ramping up EV infrastructure in Oregon and Washington state to support the battery-electric vehicle. Kia will begin delivering the Soul EV to 12 dealers in Washington and eight in Oregon. Additionally, Kia is adding 10 new fast-chargers to dealers in the region. All of the dealers will get Level 2 chargers, and 10 will receive a 50-kilowatt Signet FC50K-CC-S DC fast charger.