The first electric vehicles equipped with wireless charging capabilities could debut next year, according to a recent analysis by IHS Automotive.
And by 2022, the Colorado-based research firm said, automakers could roll out 100,000 vehicles that would not need to be plugged into charging stations.
USA Today reports that a partnership between Korean carmakers Kia and Hyundai and wireless power company Mojo Mobility — funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy — produced a transfer system with 85 percent efficiency between the electric grid and a vehicle.
A subsequent test developed a compact system for use in an electric Kia Soul, while a final testing phase will evaluate the system's reliability and safety.
Other companies involved in inductive charging research included Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Tesla, according to the USA Today report.
Mercedes partnered with telecommunications giant Qualcomm, while GM purchased a company that produces wireless charging systems for smaller devices.