Building on the global growth in electric vehicles, support from governments around the world for electrification — now including the US — and the recognized need for better EV charging solutions to expand EV adoption, WiTricity has just completed a new funding round of $63 million. Anchored by a $25 million investment from industrial giant Siemens AG, the round includes investments from Japan Energy Fund, Mirae Asset Capital, and returning investors Stage One, Airwaves Wireless Electricity, and Delta Electronics among others.
“WiTricity has built a true technology platform supported by a robust patent portfolio and global automotive standards,” said Alex Gruzen, CEO, WiTricity. “This new capital will allow us to accelerate product to market for both passenger and commercial wireless charging, and speed the development of our unique always-available wireless V2G capabilities allowing parked EVs to return power to the grid.”
WiTricity was founded out of MIT in 2007 to commercialize the use of magnetic resonance to transmit power over distance at any power level. The company has developed the industry’s most robust global patent portfolio, over 1250 issued patents, including the acquisition of the wireless charging assets of Qualcomm Halo in 2019. WiTricity is now expanding beyond licensing to delivering full wireless charging solutions for its customers including global OEMs fleets, changepoint operators, and end customers.
“With the recent increase in EV uptake in Japan, we see a strong need for technologies that offer simple charging solutions for drivers,” said Yohei Kiguchi, Founder and CEO of Japan Energy Fund and ENECHANGE Ltd. “WiTricity’s technology does exactly that. We are confident that wireless charging will be a gamechanger, and by inspiring more consumers to choose EVs over traditional combustion engines, lead to further decarbonization.”
Wireless EV charging key to accelerating EV adoption
In a recent survey, 96 percent of EV buyers indicated they want wireless charging capabilities on their next EV, which ranked significantly higher than other common options, including parking assist, autonomous driving capability, and interior or exterior design.
“EV ownership in the US is still among ‘early adopters,’” said David Baum of Stage 1 Ventures. “Wireless charging will accelerate that adoption by mainstream consumers by eliminating the hassle of charging.”
“WiTricity’s wireless charging is a key component to truly reinventing the driving experience with electric cars,” said Jonathan Hwang, Director at Mirae Asset Capital. “Korean drivers expect genuine break-through innovation for great convenience, safety, and accessibility, and wireless charging will provide just that.”
The current macroeconomic conditions make electric vehicles more attractive to consumers and to businesses, increasing the need to make the overall experience safer, more convenient, and truly accessible. Wireless charging for electric vehicles in commercial settings can reduce total cost of operation and has been deployed around the globe in limited pilots. With this investment, WiTricity will shift into production for fleets of all sizes – passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, and heavy commercial vehicles alike — at a variety of energy levels. Wireless charging will play a key role in the transition to autonomous vehicles and to supporting grid stability with wireless vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies.