High-power wireless vehicle charging technology licensed by HEVO

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has licensed its wireless charging technology for electric vehicles to Brooklyn-based HEVO. The system provides the world’s highest power levels in the smallest package and could one day enable electric vehicles to be charged as they are driven at highway speeds. 

HEVO intends to work with ORNL to continue development of this critical technology to increase power levels and efficiency of existing charging techniques.

“Highly efficient wireless charging is a breakthrough technology that can alleviate EV range anxiety and facilitate the U.S. effort to decarbonize the transportation sector,” said Xin Sun, associate laboratory director for energy science and technology at ORNL. “We are excited to see another one of our technologies move into the private sector where it can create new green jobs and support the nation’s clean energy goals.”

The license covers ORNL’s unique polyphase electromagnetic coil that delivers the highest surface power density available, 1.5 megawatts (1,500 kilowatts) per square meter — eight to 10 times higher than currently available technology. This surface power density supports higher power levels in a thinner, lighter coil, resolving the issue of adding range-sapping weight to electric vehicles.

The license also includes ORNL’s Oak Ridge Converter, which eliminates one of the power conversion stages needed for wireless power transfer, resulting in more compact and less costly stationary infrastructure.

The ORNL technology enables very fast hands-free charging and even in-motion charging so vehicles could be reenergized as they’re driven at interstate speeds over specially equipped roadways.

Under the license, HEVO will work with ORNL to further develop the technology, including making it ready for commercial manufacturing.

In a recent announcement supporting deployment to the marketplace, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm unveiled a DOE Technology Commercialization Fund award in which HEVO and ORNL will co-develop and demonstrate a 300-kW wireless charging system based on the ORNL converter and associated power electronics.

“EV charging must be simple, seamless and safe in order to accelerate mass adoption and prepare for an autonomous future,” said Jeremy McCool, HEVO founder and CEO. “Our collaboration with ORNL utilizes HEVO’s strength in designing, developing and commercializing wireless charging technology and software as the first and only company in the world that is compliant with both SAE and UL safety and performance standards.”