Kia testing inductive charging on Soul EV

Forget plug-and-play, try stop-and-charge
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Kia has used its popular (in America, at least) Soul EV to trial a new wireless charging system, making it easier to keep your battery-powered vehicle topped up at home.

Developed in tandem with the Kia America Technical Centre (HATCI) and Mojo, a wireless technology company, the charger is the culmination of a three-year development process.

The compact charging pad is capable of a 10kW charge rate, and the development team has chased an 85 per cent grid-to-vehicle efficiency figure.

Where some systems require the driver to be parked in a very specific spot, Kia says its system allows some misalignment between car and charge pad, making it easier to use in day-to-day life.

"We’re thrilled with the success of the system and its efficiency,” said William Freels, HATCI president.

“We set out to develop wireless charging that has real world applications and is easy to use for the consumer. Now, with this fleet of wireless Soul EVs, we can clearly see a future of unplugged electric vehicles.”

Wireless charging relies on an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between a coil in the vehicle and a coil in the charge pad. Rather than needing to get out, plug in and switch on a charger, the idea is to encourage electric adoption by making it easier to stay topped up.

At the moment, the new wireless system won't be offered to Kia USA buyers. Instead, it's being used as a taster for future production offerings.