DETROIT -- Delphi Automotive is developing a wireless charging system for hybrid and electric vehicles, CEO Rodney O’Neal said today.
The system would allow drivers to park their electric or hybrid vehicle over a pad that transfers power wirelessly to a receiver on the automobile. The system can transfer more than 3,300 watts, enough to charge an electric car as fast as most residential plug-in chargers, Delphi said.
It’s being developed with WiTricity Corp., a Boston-area startup born out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“I think it has its place in the market,” O’Neal said after a speech to the Detroit Economic Club. “Having multiple charging stations available -- and then, once you get there, they’re easy to use -- is extremely important to the consumer mind-set” around hybrid and electric vehicles, he said.
Other suppliers are developing wireless electronic-vehicle charging systems, too, including startup Evatran LLC of San Jose, Calif.
O’Neal wouldn’t say when he expected the wireless charging system to be ready.
Separately, O’Neal said Delphi does not have a timetable for an initial public offering. “We’ll do it when it’s right,” he said.
O’Neal said the wireless-charging product reflects Delphi’s sharpened focus since emerging from bankruptcy a year ago. The maker of electronics, sensors and powertrain systems, which is based in a Detroit suburb, has pared its offerings from 119 product lines in 2005, the year it entered Chapter 11 reorganization, to just 35 today.
It also has diversified its customer base. North America accounts for 27 percent of its revenue today, down from 70 percent in 2005. About 43 percent comes from Europe, while Asia accounts for 18 percent, up from just 5 percent five years ago, O’Neal said.
And 82 percent of its revenue comes from sales to automakers other than General Motors Co., which spun off Delphi in 1999. GM sales represented more than half Delphi’s business in 2005.
O’Neal said he expects revenues to increase 40 percent from 2009 through 2012, not including growth from future acquisitions. He foresees more mergers and acquisitions among suppliers.