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Wireless taxi charging can REDUCE need for larger batteries and range extenders says DfT Minister

Image credit: WiCET

Wireless taxi charging can ‘reduce the need for large batteries or range extender engines’ says Department for Transport Minister.

In September the technology went live for the first time in the UK as five specially modified black cabs look to break down future charging barriers.

The Wireless Charging of Electric Taxis (WiCET) trial is a government funded project that has installed wireless charging equipment on to electric hackney carriages and into a taxi rank in Nottingham. For this ‘first of its kind’ trial in the UK, five wireless ground transmitter pad systems have been installed at the main taxi rank near the train station, and nine electric hackney carriages have been retrofitted with wireless receiver pads - five LEVC TX Taxis, and four Nissan Dynamo taxis.

A pilot testing phase demonstrated the wireless charging system as being around 90% efficient, and the taxis will charge at 10 kW.

Electrification of taxi fleets in congested city areas is a crucial step in the reduction of transport emissions and improving air quality.

In a recent written question put to the Department for Transport (DfT) it emerged that ministers were hoping the technology could negate the need for bigger batteries and range extenders in heavily used commercial vehicles like the black cab.

Sarah Sultana, the Labour MP for Coventry South, asked the Secretary State for Transport what steps are planned to promote research into electric vehicle charging road technology and what are the potential environmental benefits.

Jesse Norman, Transport Minister, said: “Government has committed £40 million in projects to support innovation in wireless and on-street electric vehicle charging technology.

“£10 million of this investment is supporting the trial of wireless charging technologies for taxis in Nottingham, enabling drivers to “top-up” charge while waiting for their next fare. This project considers whether wireless charging can deliver additional environmental benefits for heavily utilised electric vehicles, by reducing the need for large batteries or range extender engines.

“Wireless charging has several other potential commercial and consumer benefits, including improved accessibility.”


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