WINNER - PRE-COMMERCIAL AND DESIGN/ENGINEERING
What: Wireless car charging technology that does away with standard plug-ins.
Why you should care: It provides an alternative to skyrocketing petrol prices and it’s even good for the environment. Fancy that.
Judges say: An excellent idea and product. This market will become huge over time, and licensing this IP could be a textbook knowledge-intensive innovation success story for New Zealand. Partnerships will be crucial here, in order to achieve adoption and scale with automotive suppliers.
With petrol prices already on the sharp incline, coupled with a growing awareness of climate change, there’s no denying electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid alternatives are surging in popularity.
Startup company HaloIPT is ready and waiting to tap into that popularity with its range of wireless charging devices, which use induction power transfer (IPT) to transfer power between a transmitter pad in the ground and a receiver pad on the vehicle.
Current methods of charging electric car batteries involve a plug and cable. With wireless charging you simply park your car and the wireless system does the rest. Power transfer rates are as efficient as the plug-in option, and the vehicle’s battery will charge even if the car is not parked precisely over the pad. The design also features a 'charge on the move’ option, unlike current plug-ins which require the vehicle to be stationary.
Although HaloIPT was founded last year by global professional services firm Arup and the University of Auckland’s commercialisation branch UniServices, it’s actually built on a technology and significant patent portfolio that’s been developed at Auckland University for more than 20 years.
The company’s wireless charging devices have been demonstrated in practical field trials and they’ve also been successfully inserted into small A-class electric vehicles and the larger Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX.
These successful results have captured the attention of global suppliers, some of who have purchased systems for their own evaluation.