Lord Drayson after completing his electric vehicle land speed record attempt last year

Lord Drayson launches wireless charging venture

Electric vehicle land speed record holder Lord Drayson has announced he will now turn his efforts to commercialising wireless charging technology.

The former UK science minister has launched a new company called Drayson Wireless Limited to bring wireless energy transfer technology developed by scientists from the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Imperial College London to market in a variety of applications.

The firm’s short range system is based on near-field charging technology and can transfer up to 1.5kW over a distance of up to 0.5 m using a lightweight receiver, while its long distance power transfer system can transfer up to 10mW at distances up to 5m. Both operate at over 80 per cent efficiency.

Lord Drayson already has some experience of the automotive applications for wireless power as his Drayson B12/69 electric race-car, which set a new FIA electric land speed record last year, is wirelessly charged using Qualcomm Halo technology.

“Over recent years we have seen a revolution in the way wireless technology has transformed communications, making smartphones and social media part of our everyday lives.  The same is about to happen to energy and Drayson Wireless aims to be at the centre of this next revolution,” said Lord Drayson.

A new holding company known as Drayson Technologies will control the new firm, which will be run in collaboration with Imperial Innovations, as well as the entrepreneur’s other venture Drayson Racing Technologies and its Formula E team.

Drayson Wireless has signed a long-term strategic research agreement with Imperial College to continue research in the field and to work with Imperial Innovations to accelerate the transfer of wireless energy technology from the research lab to the market place.

Tony Hickson, managing director of technology transfer at Imperial Innovations said: “We are very excited about the potential of the strategic research agreement with Drayson Wireless.

“The powerful combination of the company’s commercial expertise and the strong intellectual property portfolio developed at Imperial College, gives Drayson Wireless a solid foundation for success in the emerging wireless energy market.”

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