This Deal Matters: Commercialization of Wireless Charging Technology for Electric Vehicles
WiTricity, the Massachusetts-based developer of wireless energy transmission and charging technology, announced last week that it had licensed certain patents to Toyota for the development of wireless battery charging technology for the auto major’s electric vehicles. Prior to this licensing agreement, Toyota had also made an equity investment to WiTricity in 2011, to accelerate the development of such technology. This licensing agreement marks a major commercialization milestone towards the wide-spread adoption of WiTricity’s wireless charging systems. Within the same timeframe, a BMW product development executive also announced that “electrification will be a central thread” in BMW’s future product development. In addition, Audi has unveiled its electric crossover concept vehicle at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
Electric vehicle application isn’t the only market focus for WiTricity. The company’s business strategy aims to license its wireless-power technology to as many partners as possible, including sectors such as transportation, consumer electronics and industrial applications. Consequently, WiTricity also has other corporate investors that have their eyes set on this promising technology. In October of 2013, WiTricity had closed a Growth Equity round from Intel Capital and Foxconn Technology Group, one of China’s largest electronics manufacturers. In addition, General Electric was the co-investor along with Toyota during the 2011 investment. Exciting times are ahead for the future of electric vehicles, stay tuned via our i3 market intelligence platform.