Inductive Power Transfer programme

GNS Kona EV Car

Inductive Power Transfer (IPT) technology will allow electric vehicles to be wirelessly charged via underfloor magnets while parked in the garage and by ‘dynamic charging’ on roadways while in motion.


It will be essential to develop affordable and stable magnetic materials for the charging pads as demand grows for sustainable transport. This ground-breaking programme is a collaboration between GNS Science and the University of Auckland.

This programme aims to

  • explore the potential of New Zealand’s magnetic mineral deposits and develop new materials for wireless charging
  • demonstrate how transportation systems can transition to more sustainable outcomes, encouraging the reduction of carbon emissions
  • form stronger partnerships and connections in the global transport electrification space

To achieve these objectives, we are

  • developing new technology that facilitates the widespread adoption of electric vehicles
  • working alongside local and international organisations to share knowledge and expertise

The project

The future of wireless charging for EVs

There is a growing demand for magnetic materials in devices and charging systems to enable wireless charging. These innovative systems include in-road inductive power transfer (IPT) for electric vehicles, which are becoming increasingly popular.

These magnetic materials need to be non-brittle, permeable and affordable so that vehicles can run over charging pads built into the road without destroying them, which means out-of-the-box solutions and new material sources are required. As part of this project, we have researched the permeabilities of natural magnetic materials (from Aotearoa New Zealand’s magnetic mineral deposits) and their potential as a viable magnetic material for our roads.

One option is using soft magnetic composite (SMC) materials that combine at least one magnetic filler within a matrix. While they are often less permeable, they offer the flexibility to optimise their other properties by controlling the matrix composition including the magnetic filler composition and size distribution as well as the binder material. In this way, resulting SMC materials can be tailored to have better performance compared to other, more traditional SMC materials (such as ferrites or ‘magnetic concrete’). In addition, they often exhibit lower eddy current losses and higher efficiencies in their operating range.

By integrating our findings with novel IPT systems and road designs, with optimisation of the magnetic, mechanical and thermal properties, we hope to deliver an effective solution for this emerging opportunity.

  • Publications

    Weir, G.; Leveneur, J.; Long, N. 2022. Approximate shape factors for soft magnetic composites. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 541: article 168557; doi: 10.1016/j.jmmm.2021.168557

    Chong, S.V.; Trompetter, W.J.; Leveneur, J.; Robinson, F.; Leuw, B.; Rumsey, B.; McCurdy, M.; Turner, J.; Uhrig, D.M.; Spencer, S.; Kennedy, J.V.; Long, N.J. 2021. A facile route to insulate an Fe-based nanocrystalline alloy powder for magnetic composite cores. Materials science & engineering. B, Solid-state materials for advanced technology, 264: article 114928; doi: 10.1016/j.mseb.2020.114928

    Leveneur, J.; Trompetter, W.J.; Chong, S.V.; Rumsey, B.; Jovic, V.; Kim, S.; McCurdy, M.; Anquillare, E.; Smith, K.E.; Long, N.; Kennedy, J.V.; Covic, G.; Boys, J. 2021. Ironsand (titanomagnetite-titanohematite) : chemistry, magnetic properties and direct applications for wireless power transfer. Materials (Basel, Switzerland), 14(18): article 5455; doi: 10.3390/ma14185455

    Trompetter, W.J.; Leveneur, J.; Kennedy, J.V.; Rumsey, B.; McCurdy, M.; Chong, S.; Long, N. 2020. Investigation of New Zealand's natural magnetic minerals for application in inroad charging systems. International journal of modern physics B, 34(1): doi: 10.1142/S0217979220400184

    Weir, G.; Chisholm, G.; Leveneur, J. 2020. The magnetic-field about a three-dimensional block neodymium magnet. ANZIAM Journal, 62(4): 386-405; doi: 10.1017/S1446181120000097

Kennedy John 3098

John Kennedy Principal Scientist - Materials

Dr. John V Kennedy is a material scientist whose work focusses on new materials development for low carbon energy technologies. His research explores new technological pathways for a sustainable zero carbon economy. He uses ion beam technologies pioneered by Lord Rutherford to develop functional materials and to provide key information about the materials structure-property relationship. The results are used across the materials science community for the design of a new product, surface engineering, catalytic materials for hydrogen production and storage, thermoelectric materials for waste heat to energy conversion, energy storage materials, magnetic materials and energy efficient systems. John is an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the programme director for MBIE advanced Energy technology platform “Green Hydrogen Technology Platform” which aims to develop new clean technologies to produce hydrogen from non-pure water and develop a technological capability for Hydrogen in New Zealand. He is also Energy & Emissions platform leader of New Zealand Product Accelerator and Principal Investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and Principal Investigator of the MBIE Endeavour funded Programme “Wirelessly Powered Transport Infrastructure for a Low-carbon Future”

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Research project details

Collaborators: The University of Auckland, GNS Science, Robinson Research Institute



Funding platform

Endeavour Fund



Programme leader

Dr John Kennedy


Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE)

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