Mercedes-Benz and Qualcomm Halo Wireless Technology
Can you imagine a world in which you drive a hybrid vehicle that is charged without a cord? This seemingly futuristic scenario is quickly becoming a reality thanks to the engineering savants at Mercedes-Benz and Qualcomm. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S 550e will make use of Qualcomm’s Halo wireless vehicle charging technology. The plug-in hybrid vehicle makes little noise, is incredibly green and no longer requires a cord for recharges. This is excellent news for environmentally conscious drivers who don’t want to fuss with obtrusive charging cords each morning and evening.
The Mercedes-Benz-Qualcomm Alliance
Mercedes-Benz broke the news of the cordless vehicle charging technology this past June. The technology is provided by Qualcomm. Known as “Halo”, this technology will soon be available in the United States yet representatives from both companies have skirted questions about whether it will be optional or standard on the ’18 S 550e. This wireless technology has been perfected across the past couple of decades. It existed about 20 years ago in the form of GM’s EV1 yet the technology did not make it to market until 2016 due to issues pertaining to charging speed, safety and cost.
How Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Works
Mercedes-Benz officials have stated that this “single-phase” charging system functions at 3.6 kW. It is enough power to charge the S 550e’s 13.5 kWh battery pack in a single night. There is no need to mess around with cables, ports or charging-door releases. This technology functions at a fantastic 90 percent efficiency rate as measured from the power source to the vehicle’s charger. It is anticipated that an installation will be required in each vehicle owner’s garage. Once a 240-volt circuit is in place, the owner will merely need to park his vehicle in the proper position and it will be all charged up for the morning commute. Interested car-seekers need not fret about whether the vehicle has to be perfectly positioned to charge. As long as it is within about six inches from the charging location, charging will occur. The vehicle is even equipped with an on-board guiding system that directs the driver to the ideal charging position.
The Story Behind Halo
Wireless vehicle charging technology was advanced years ago by a UK-based company called Halo. Qualcomm purchased Halo back in 2011. It took Halo 25 years of development to perfect its wireless charging technology. The roots of the research stem all the way back to academic efforts at New Zealand’s University of Auckland conducted in the early 1990s.
First to Market
Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker to bring wireless vehicle charging to the market. Look for this technology to spread across the industry, possibly even leading to vehicles that charge themselves while being driven. Though the Mercedes-Benz S 550e will likely sell for over $90,000, the vehicle will save drivers plenty of money in the long run as it shuns gasoline for a quick and easy wireless recharge. Add in the fact that the S 550e will feature all the luxurious niceties of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and there should be no doubt that it will be a smash hit.