Qualcomm reveals BMW i8 Formula E safety car with wireless charging

It may have been a while since we've heard anything new about Qualcomm's Halo, the wireless car charging system. That's changed today, as the company has just announced its new official safety car for the second season of the FIA's Formula E Championship. The car, a BMW i8, has been outfitted with Qualcomm's Halo 7.2kW wireless charging system, said to be able to charge the vehicle's batteries in one hour.

The i8 will be hitting the tracks starting in October, when the second season of the all-electric Formula E racing series kicks off. Qualcomm notes that the new charging system delivers twice as much energy to the safety car's batteries as last year's 3.6kW system. This reduces the charging time by half, with a full charge possible in as little as one hour.

Charging is done via the Qualcomm Halo DD technology, which has been in development for several years now. The system relies on a vehicle parking over a charging pad that transfers energy through the air to another aligned pad on the bottom side of the car. Check out the demonstration we saw back in 2012 in the video below.

While Qualcomm's latest Halo announcement isn't geared towards the consumer market, wireless charging for electric cars is certainly on the edge of flourishing. Earlier this year, Qualcomm and Mercedes-Benz announced a partnership for wireless car charging, while in 2014 BMW and Mercedes said they would do the same. Meanwhile Tesla is working on a robotic snake charger, that, while not wireless, does automatically plug into the car.

With all this development going on around improving the charging experience of electric cars, the "winner" will certainly be the system that can deliver the fastest charge.

SOURCE Qualcomm