Redbridge Council has become the first London borough to offer residents wireless charging of electric cars. The move is designed to encourage wider use of electric vehicles to help reduce the levels of air pollution in the capital.
The innovative scheme works by installing a pad on the underside of an electric car that can be aligned with pads buried beneath the road surface, allowing cable free charging as electricity passes to the car via induction. In a separate trial UK Power Networks Services hope to use wireless charging to support the use of electric vehicles in commercial fleets on London’s roads. That assessment announced earlier this year will include the wireless charging of electric taxis while waiting for passengers in the taxi rank outside St Pancras International railway station. Redbridge partnered with parts of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes to trial the scheme offering some residents the induction pads for free. Others will be able to access the use of car-club cars which will be fitted-out with induction pads. The company behind the pilot scheme, Char.gy, was awarded over £2.3 million by the UK Government. The funds are to be used to help develop and deploy wireless charging technology on residential streets without the need for trailing cables and additional infrastructure. Council Leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: "We are facing a climate emergency and switching to electric vehicles is one way we can help reduce emissions and save the planet. “Our children deserve to grow up with clean air and healthy lungs and schemes like this can make a huge difference to levels of air pollution." “We’re determined to be the front-runners for improving air quality to ensure Redbridge is one of the cleanest and greenest boroughs in London.” Cabinet Member for Civic Pride Cllr John Howard said: “Redbridge has always been at the forefront of finding innovative ways to tackle air pollution. “We were one of the first boroughs in the capital to install a public rapid charge point for electric vehicles, as well as offer residents with electric vehicles free parking permits for controlled parking zones. “Reducing air pollution is a top priority for our residents, so we’re delighted to be working with Char.gy on this pilot scheme. “The project shares our commitment to improving the environment and making it easier for drivers to swap diesel and petrol cars for more eco-friendly versions.” The project is part of The Department for Transport’s commitment to invest in UK engineering to "transform" the network of electric charge points.