A consortium led by Sprint Power has been awarded funding by the UK government for a wireless taxi charging trial.
It has been awarded £3.4 million for the WiCET (Wireless Charging of Electric Taxis) trial, which will see the company develop a custom interface module and software. It will also include bespoke integration kits for each type of vehicle involved, allowing them to be retrofitted to use the technology.
The trial will run for six months in Nottingham and include a fleet of 10 modified LEVC TX and Nissan ENV200 electric taxis.
Inductive chargers will be able to charge the taxis without the need to plug in, in the hope that this will reduce charging times and improve range, facilitating the shift to electric taxis.
Founder and CEO of Sprint Power, Richie Frost commented: “Many taxi operators, businesses and councils are keen to make the transition to electric vehicles. Our view is that wireless charging will significantly ease this transition.
“As part of the project, we will work through the technical and commercial challenges, creating a framework to demonstrate the viability of inductive charging as a true long-term solution to a wireless, zero-emission future”.
The consortium includes CENEX (Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies), Coventry University, Nottingham City Council, Shell, Parking Energy, and Transport for London, while Innovate UK awarded the funding.
A number of projects around the UK are looking to inductive charging technologies for electric vehicles. Earlier in January, charging infrastructure company Connected Kerb has announced that it will rollout wireless charging technology in London, the Midlands and Scotland in the first half of 2020.