WiTricity joins Japan energy leaders to form EV Wireless Power Transfer Council; plans to open WiTricity Japan KK

WiTricity announced last week that it will be one of the founding members of the Japanese EV Wireless Power Transfer Council.

The organization includes Daihen Corporation, Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Mitsubishi Research Institute, Ltd., Sinanen Corporation, and WiTricity. The Council was created to promote wireless charging technology and to pave the way for the broad adoption of EV wireless power transfer in Japan.

“The formation of the EV Wireless Power Transfer Council is a key step in the development of the wireless charging industry in Japan,” said Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity. “Together with these Japanese industry leaders, WiTricity will help establish technical standards for wireless charging, prove out business models, and drive adoption.”

In addition, the Massachusetts-based company also announced that it is establishing WiTricity Japan KK as it grows its staff in Japan to support Japanese customers and numerous wireless power transfer projects in the country.

“In establishing WiTricity KK, we can help Japan leapfrog current technology and deliver the next-generation EV ownership experience,” said Gruzen. “Given the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the Japanese auto market, the physical presence of WiTricity staff helps us anticipate customer needs for rapid adoption of wireless charging for EVs in Japan.”

Witricity’s announcement states that Japan has challenges and characteristics that make wireless EV charging uniquely valuable in helping to drive EV adoption. Space constraints in enormous, densely populated cities make the plug-in stations familiar in the US challenging to accommodate, whereas wireless charging requires less real estate. Automated parking garages can provide charging without the need for a person to plug in their vehicle.

On the commercial side, wireless charging brings operational cost advantages to fleet electrification, which is well underway in the market, particularly for package delivery. Wireless vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology will make vehicle battery energy storage available on-demand and help accelerate a greener and more resilient grid.

DATAportl recently published two reports analyzing the global public and residential EV charging market. Japan was an early mover in the deployment of public EV charging infrastructure but then began removing charging stations due to a poor uptake in BEVs throughout the country. In 2022, it began to deploy public EV charging stations again, replenishing its installed base which grew to over 30000 public EV charging stations last year. It is forecast to grow rapidly by a factor of almost 10 between 2024 and 2031, though this is likely to leave a large imbalance between EVs and public charging stations at a ratio of 64:1.

Japan’s residential EV wallbox charger uptake has also been slow to date, accounting for less than 1% of the global total residential wallbox installed base.

It would therefore seem viable for wireless charging EV infrastructure to find a foothold in Japan. Standardization of the technology across Japan’s EVs is critical and it needs to happen quickly given the typical design cycles in automotive design and technology implementation. WiTricity tried to bring EV wireless charging to the South Korea and China markets via integration into the Genesis GV60. Unfortunately, the uptake was minimal, and the larger scale roll out didn’t happen. Will it have more success in Japan? DATAportl predicts that wireless charging of EVs is a when rather than an if and we eagerly await the results!Get in touch to discuss the trends in the EV and wired and wireless EV charging infrastructure markets.

The original article is here.



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