WiTricity acquires Qualcomm’s EV charging unit

WiTricity, a wireless power transfer company, is acquiring tech giant Qualcomm Inc.’s electric vehicle charging unit, enhancing the startup’s wireless EV charging capabilities.

WiTricity announced Monday that the acquisition of Qualcomm Halo includes certain technology platform and intellectual property assets, including over 1,500 patents and patent applications for wireless charging. A WiTricity spokeswoman said the company will also acquire Qualcomm Halo’s technology designs and licenses.

“WiTricity’s wireless charging technology is key to the future of mobility, which is clearly electric, and increasingly shared and autonomous,” Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity, said in a statement. “Electric vehicle drivers and fleets demand a simple, effortless charging experience. Bringing the Qualcomm Halo technology into the WiTricity portfolio will simplify global interoperability and significantly accelerate commercialization.”

The acquisition will streamline technology development and allow automakers to offer a seamless electric vehicle charging experience, WiTricity said. The company said the deal will enhance EV operators’ ability to park over wireless charging ground pads, virtually eliminating the need to plug in to charge.

The deal could also be a boon to electrified autonomous vehicle fleets that rely on or are considering wireless charging.

WiTricity said talks with automakers and other users are just beginning and that the company plans to offer a more robust and comprehensive portfolio, technical support and design services.

In January, Honda Motor Co. and WiTricity demonstrated a wireless vehicle-to-grid charging model at CES in Las Vegas. The company also introduced the world’s first vehicle that is factory equipped with wireless charging in 2018 through the BMW 530e iPerformance sedan.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.