- Bumblebee has retrofitted a Voi scooter with a receiving unit to demonstrate its cutting-
edge wireless charging technology
- The solution saves operational costs, increases access to micro-mobility, and offers
Stockholm – Voi Technology, the leading European micro-mobility operator, today announced an ongoing partnership to advance capabilities for micro-mobility wireless charging with Bumblebee Power, a spin-out company commercialising wireless power technology born out of research at Imperial College’s Wireless Power Lab in its Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. As an industrial partner, Voi collaborates with Bumblebee on the testing trials of its leading-edge technology that enables efficient wireless power transfer for micro-mobility vehicles, including e-scooters and e-bikes.
Voi and Bumblebee Power’s joint initiatives aim to improve Voi’s understanding of wireless charging technologies for its e-scooters; develop plans for the deployment of charging pads in cities and potential benefits to the e-scooter industry, and enable Bumblebee to test their technology on Voi e-scooters.
The first project looks at how electric transmit pads can alleviate the infrastructural challenges cities face in implementing easy-to-maintain electric charging hubs. Bumblebee has integrated its ultra- thin, light-weight technology into a Voi scooter to demonstrate the practicality of technology. A thin, PCB- based coil and control unit, connected to the grid, which can be attached to the ground, transfers the required power wirelessly to an equally thin and light-weight receive coil and charger unit on the scooter.
By 2030, the shared electric micro-mobility market is expected to spend more than £140bn on battery charging. Bumblebee’s wireless solution complements existing charging technologies, such as battery-swapping, and enables a host of other operational and environmental benefits, including:
- keeping the scooter fleet active on the road for longer;
- charging efficiency equivalent to wired charging;
- reducing the need to constantly transport scooters to and from warehouses
- enabling e-scooter operations in more remote areas without easy access to warehouses, increasing access to service; and
- incentivising users to park e-scooters in designated areas.
Bumblebee Power wireless charging technology also offers three times the wireless range, has three times the tolerance to misalignment and is three times lighter weight than current solutions.
Fredrik Hjelm, CEO and co-founder of Voi, said, “Voi is constantly on the lookout for innovative solutions that will accelerate the micro-mobility revolution. As more cities adopt electric vehicles and micro-mobility transport in response to growing concerns over air pollution and congestion, the need for efficient, sustainable, and scalable operations becomes ever greater. We are proud to support the research and development that will further these goals by working with a world-leading institution such as Imperial College and Bumblebee Power. We’re aiming for long-term charging solutions that secure the future of micro-mobility.”
David Yates, CTO and co-founder of Bumblebee Power, said, “Bumblebee Power is proud to be collaborating with Voi and share a common vision to explore how Bumblebee’s versatile, practical and innovative technology can transform the use and operation of micro-mobility vehicles. Bumblebee’s technology addresses key concerns about environmental pollution reduction, effective use of public space with its unobtrusive and highly efficient wireless charging systems.”
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Voi is a Swedish micro-mobility company offering electric scooter sharing in partnership with cities and local communities. We believe e-scooters can play a central role in changing how people move in our cities in the future. And we want to make sure that the transformation happens the right way — through real innovative technology, open and transparent dialogue with cities and governments, and by adapting our products to local needs. Jump on a scooter whenever and ride wherever in the city in just minutes — completely carbon-neutral. Voi has been a carbon-neutral company since January 2020 and has adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework and has set a clear agenda for reducing and offsetting emissions.
About Bumblebee Power
Bumblebee Power is a spin-out company from Imperial College London. It is developing wireless charging technology products which have wide air-gap, tolerance to misalignment, full power range, low cost and light-weight capability far in excess of existing techniques. These products will revolutionise the usability and productivity of all types of battery-powered vehicles and devices. The company has the technical experience, expertise and design capability to integrate their patented technology into multiple applications. It is collaborating with commercial partners to bring products to market and prove the economic, usability and sustainability benefits of wireless charging wherever battery-powered equipment is used.