TECH
09/09/2013 12:55 BST

Qualcomm Halo Wireless Charging To Be Used In Formula E Racing Championship

Last month we bought you the news South Korea is pioneering technology that charges electric buses as they drive - now the system is coming to racing.

Qualcomm - better known for their processor chips - have just signed a sponsorship deal with the Formula E championship which launches next year.

As well as funding, the company is also providing its Halo wireless-charging technology. The system works by using a copper coil in the ground to charge a battery on board an equipped electric vehicle.

formula e

A Formula E car on a promotional tour in Rome last year

Currently this only works when the car is stationary but it is hoped by placing coils in various places around a track, racers can be charged on the go.

The inaugural season will only see the safety cars fitted with Halo but the second season should see the technology being rolled out across other vehicles.

Currently Halo and other similar technologies are limited to specialist automotive sectors but those behind Formula E hope it will push a surge in interest in electric cars.

Chief executive, Alejandro Agag, told the BBC: "We will make people more inclined to buy an electric car, but this will take time - five or 10 years."

The team behind this year's electric lands speed record, Drayson, already use the Halo system.

The first race of the Formula E season will be in London in September 2014. Nine other cities will host races and although these have still to be officially confirmed, they should include Beijing, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and Rome.

Agag said: "We think Formula E can be a platform where companies can showcase and develop and improve technologies for electric road cars.

"We will demonstrate that batteries will offer more performance and go longer. At the beginning [the drivers] will swap cars, but this will stop as the batteries improve, and people will see the cars go faster.

"This, we hope, will have a psychological impact and make people more inclined to buy an electric car."