The South Korean brand has been focusing on developing electrified vehicles operated by batteries while its larger brethren Hyundai is concentrating its efforts towards fuel cell technology.
And now it appears that Kia is ready for a breakthrough, announcing its wireless charger for the Soul EV crossover is nearing the final stages of development. These charging systems are capable of transferring high power without the use of bulky cables between the charger and vehicle and numerous companies have been developing them for use in vehicles. The feature could increase the convenience of using an electric vehicle – which desperately needs to increase its appeal and acceptance among the consumer base. The automaker is also exploring this as an option to have vehicles with enabling smaller battery pack sizes and lower vehicle weight, meaning the brand’s plug in hybrid models could also benefit from the development of the wireless charging capabilities.
“HATCI is honored to be selected as a partner with the DOE,” comments Dr. Sung Hwan Cho, President, Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center Inc. “Innovative technologies such as this align well with one of our core goals, which is to create a vehicle experience that is intuitive and easy for the consumer.”
The system has been researched and developed by the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center and Mojo Motability Inc – a wireless power technology company, with a grant being awarded by the US Department of Energy. After previous stages of development, the last phase will have five Soul EV models testing how wireless technology performs under real-world conditions – highlighting aspects as durability, safety, and performance. Neither Kia nor Mojo Mobility have not announced when or how the new wireless charging system would become available to consumers.