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Wireless charging to arrive on vehicles by 2017

Qualcomm readies technology for market debut on luxury models.

The first electric vehicles to feature wireless charging may arrive on the market as early as 2017.

Electronics supplier Qualcomm has already installed its 'Halo' inductive charging system in a BMW i3 that will serve as course cars for the Formula E racing series. The technology will also be installed in the i3's higher-performance cousin, the i8.

The race organizers plan to utilize BMW's electrified models to serve as safety, medical and extraction cars. Both models already offer gasoline-powered supplemental power (optional in the i3), but Qualcomm nonetheless promotes its wireless-charging tech as a way to keep the safety cars ready to quickly deploy without first disconnecting a physical cable.

The company points to its Formula E project as evidence of Halo's development progress and commercial viability.

"We're in discussions at some level with all of the major companies developing electric vehicles, and some requests for quotations have already gone out," Qualcomm's VP of business development and marketing for Halo, Dr. Anthony Thompson, told Auto Express.

The executive suggests the first models could arrive on the market within three years. Added costs will likely limit the technology to an upgrade option for luxury models in the beginning, though one automaker allegedly told Thompson the market will likely be dominated by wireless charging within ten years.

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