AUSSIE INNOVATORS LEADING THE EV CHARGE

Many in the automotive industry will be familiar with OE and aftermarket product manufacturer Lumen

Up until very recently this family-owned Australian business’ latest venture, Lumen Freedom, has been a closely guarded secret.
“Lumen, the traditional side of the business, has been manufacturing genuine accessories, wiring harnesses, and a range of electronic components for more than 30 years,” Lumen Freedom General Manager, Rod Wilson, said.
“Lumen is always looking to stay ahead of the curve.”
In 2016 a separate company, Lumen Freedom, was established specifically to drive innovation in Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC).
In the same year, Lumen Freedom secured a license from Qualcomm for the development of WEVC.
Since that time, Witricity from Boston in the USA bought the patents from Qualcomm and added these to its already extensive portfolio of patents, ensuring Witricity as the preeminent Patent holder in this area.
Lumen Freedom now holds a license with Witricity for the development of WEVC.
Over the ensuring years, Lumen Freedom has been approached by many car companies as news of its innovative wireless charging technology started to gain traction in boardrooms across the globe.
“Due to the sensitive nature surrounding the IP of our wireless charging system, we have basically been working in total secrecy since 2016,” Rod said.
“Car companies want to keep their plans under wraps, and it’s only in the last six to eight weeks that we’ve been able to come out from the shadows and share our successes in this space.”
In what is truly a win for Aussie ingenuity and hard work, Lumen Freedom has been awarded the first and only original equipment contract for fitment of a wireless charging system in the world.
“We have 40 world-class engineers onsite in our Hallam facility, all of whom are dedicated to developing our wireless charging technology,” Rod said.
“We see this as disruptive technology 101 and are committed to driving innovation in the Electric Vehicle Recharging market.”
Lumen Freedom is the only company in the world to receive full UL and IEC certification for its wireless charging system.
“We’re punching well above our weight and are determined to keep ahead of the pack of development in this highly technical space,” Rod commented.
“In the future, you’ll see vehicle to grid and vehicle to home. As access to wireless charging becomes more widespread, you’ll be able to go home with a full battery and switch to running your LEDs, your TV, and other things in your house, or feed it back into the grid from your vehicle battery.
“This technology is evolving now and is under test.”
In addition to being heavily embedded with several car companies, Lumen Freedom is also working closely with energy providers and infrastructure companies to speed up the transition from internal combustion to electric-powered vehicles.
“The majority of our work is focused on overseas markets at the moment,” Rod explained.
“We are involved with customers in the UK, USA, Europe and China; with more recent enquiries coming from Brazil, Israel and India.”

Lumen has 12 facilities globally and says it is well placed to support the uptake of WEVC.
Currently, petrol and diesel excise generate approximately 16 billion dollars a year in federal taxes, but the transition to EV transportation is on the move, with wireless charging technology driving it forward at an ever-increasing rate.
“The transition to EV transport inevitable,” Rod said.
“The world is making electric cars, there are billions of dollars being invested, and they’re coming, like it or not.”
When compared to traditional internal combustion-powered vehicles, the reduction in operating costs is significant.
On average, electric vehicles cost three to four dollars per 100 kilometers to run, while running costs for internal combustion vehicles often exceed 12 dollars per 100 kilometers.
Lumen Freedom says the environmental benefits are unquestionable.
“If you look at the service costs of an internal combustion engine vehicle compared to electric vehicles, electric vehicles are one percent of the cost,” Rod added.
Currently, there are three wireless charging technologies: static, semi-dynamic, and dynamic.
Dynamic charging allows electric vehicles to be charged wirelessly at highway speeds of 100+ kilometers an hour and has been proven successful in an experimental program run over several years called “Fabric” in Versailles, France.
“Dynamic wireless charging is a game-changer,” Rod said.
“Imagine driving from Melbourne to Sydney and you get a notification on your car that you have 120 kilometers left in your battery.
“Then you are notified by your onboard GPS or an appropriate road sign indicating that there is a 50-kilometer charge zone coming up in two kilometers, just like an overtaking lane.
“When you hit the charging zone, you just move into the green zone and recharge without having to pause your trip.”
Lumen Freedom is part of several consortiums overseas evaluating semi-dynamic charging technology with taxi fleets, with expected positive results.
“If you consider how taxis rotate through airports, our semi-dynamic wireless charging system is fit for purpose,” Rod explained.
“As the taxis move through the rank, they go over our semi-dynamic charging pads. You can’t have a plug-in charging system for electric taxis because you can’t have someone jumping out every two seconds to plug in their car and move along the lane or the rank.”
The UK has already flagged that the iconic London Taxis will go zero emissions in the future, so Lumen Freedom’s semi-dynamic charging system is a natural fit.
Lumen Freedom says the world is embracing wireless charging technology, noting that plug-in charging stations are intrusive, and councils overseas are resistant to install plug-in stations in the future as they are considered ugly and add to urban visual pollution.
“Plug-in charging stations get graffitied, damaged, and they are dirty and maintenance-hungry,” Rod said.
“People cut the cable and sell the copper. If you try and utilise existing parallel parking spaces, you have got to pull the cable across the roof of the car to the other side if you have got an offset plug.
“Cities are forced to invest in expensive dedicated plots of City real estate to accommodate plug-in stations; and handicapped drivers are unable to perform the plug-in requirements and are greatly disadvantaged.
“Our wireless charging systems eliminate all these issues.”

As the world transitions to Autonomous Mobility, Wireless Charging completes the circle of integration, eliminating the need for any human intervention.
One of the most exciting projects in which the team at Lumen Freedom has delivered is the 2020 McLaren Speedtail Hyper-GT – a hybrid hyper sports car that is the first vehicle in the world to rely solely on wireless charging.
“It utilises Formula 1 racing technology, with a powerful internal combustion engine paired with an electric motor and battery pack to provide astonishing acceleration and regenerative braking,” Rod explained.
Billed as the “fastest McLaren road car ever,” the hand-built Speedtail Hyper-GT has Lumen Freedom’s wireless charging receiver unit built into the nose of its 5.2m-long, 1430kg carbon-fibre body.
This on-board unit corresponds with a ground pad, measuring roughly 66cm wide and 78cm long and weighing 26kg, which comes standard with the purchase of the Hyper-GT.
“The ground assembly element is a derivative of our 11kW system, which can be de-rated to suit the consumers’ needs and the specific requirements of the vehicle,” Rod said.
“Charging times for this vehicle to reach full charge are very short, with power transfer efficiencies at the same levels as plug-in cabled chargers.”
The Speedtail’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre, V8 engine, and parallel hybrid system is capable of producing a maximum power output of 1036hp, or 772kW, boasting a top speed of 403km/h and the ability to hit 300km/h in just 12.8 seconds from a standing start.
Only a small volume of Speedtail Hyper-GTs is being built as a tribute to the original number of McLaren F1 cars made and all examples have already been sold.
“The future for electric vehicles is total elimination of range anxiety,” Rod explained.
“As investment in wireless charging technology infrastructure increases, so will the number of electric vehicles in our car parc.
“We are on the brink of a massive shift in personal and mass transportation globally, and Lumen Freedom is leading the charge.”
There is no doubt Lumen Freedom provides us with a window to the future of transport and insight into the Australian automotive industry’s roadmap. An innovator who is quick to market, with a real ‘can-do’ attitude, its talented team is world-class and, as proven already, stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Lumen Freedom says the support of the AAAA has been critical to its success.
“We’ve been a member of the AAAA right back from the early days when Lumen started,” Rod said.
“I’m also on the Automotive Product Manufacturers Export Council committee (APMEC), which is a part of the AAAA. This has proved extremely valuable as we are actually exporting from Australia.
“We’ve always found that there’s good value in AAAA. They do a lot of good work for the industry,” he added.

To find out more about Lumen Freedom, visit www.lumenfreedom.com