Wireless electric car charging is still a few years away from appearing on big-city streets, but the technology will make an appearance at the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Formula E Championship, which kicks off Sept. 13 in Beijing. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (FRA:BMW) won the bid to provide four pace cars at the world’s first single-seat electric-car racing series.
The German luxury automaker has adapted two BMW i3 minis and a pair of i8 electric sports cars with standards approved by the FIA and fitted them with magnetic inductive receivers provided by San Diego-based tech company Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM).
“Wireless charging has the potential to radically improve the electric vehicle driver experience, and Formula E provides the perfect platform in which to develop, test and showcase this exciting new technology,” Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said.
Wireless car charging allows electric vehicles (EVs) to draw electricity into their battery packs through so-called resonant magnetic induction between a ground-level charging pad connected to an electric outlet and a receiver in an EV’s undercarriage. While it doesn’t provide much additional convenience as a private EV charging outlet, wireless car charging would be useful at designated municipal and public parking locations.
Qualcomm has been testing its Halo technology for the past couple of years, including trials that began last year in London. Now Qualcomm and BMW have a venue to promote their EV technologies at a new global racing series.
The new FIA Formula E Championship will host 10 rounds in nine cities, ending in London in June 2015. Ten international EV racing teams will compete.
Here’s the Formula E schedule for the 2014-2015 racing season:
September 13 in Beijing.
November 22 in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
December 13 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
January 10 in Buenos Aires.
February 14 -- location to be announced.
March 14 in Miami.
April 4 in Long Beach, California.
May 9 in Monte Carlo.
May 30 in Berlin.
June 27 in London.
The racing teams are:
London-based Amlin Aguri.
Indianapolis, Indiana-based Andretti Formula E.
Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team, based in Allgäu, Germany.
Beijing’s China Racing Formula E Team.
Dragon Racing Formula E Team of Los Angeles.
Le Mans, France-based e.dams-Renault Formula E Team.
Mahindra Racing, based in Mumbai.
Switzerland’s Trulli Formula E Team.
Venturi Formula E Team of Monte Carlo.
Virgin Racing Formula E Team of London.