Electric taxis throughout Nottingham will be able to pull up to a rank and charge wirelessly between jobs as part of new £3.4m Government scheme.
Ten Nissan and LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) electric taxis in the city will be fitted with wireless charging hardware in a six month trial of the technology, allowing them to recharge their batteries without plugging into a charge point.
The cars will charge by driving over the top of wireless pads sunk into the ground, which emit an alternating electromagnetic field to charge the battery above it.
Wireless charging allows multiple taxis to charge simultaneously without the need to install charging points at the kerbside, allowing drivers to recharge more easily.
If successful, the trial could pave the way for wireless charging points to be made available to members of the public as electric vehicle adoption grows, the Department for Transport confirmed.
Recharging ‘more convenient’
Nottingham City Council will own the vehicles and provide them to drivers rent-free.
“Taxi drivers up and down the country are at the vanguard of the electric vehicle revolution, playing a leading role in reducing air pollution in our city centres where people live, shop and work,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.
“New wireless technology will make using an electric taxi quicker and more convenient, allowing drivers to charge up at taxi ranks before heading off with their next passenger.”
Norway installed the world’s first wireless electric car charging stations for taxis in March 2019, ahead of the country’s plan for all new cars sold by 2025 to be all-electric.
A report from the Government-commissioned Electric Vehicles Energy Task Force warned the UK is unprepared for the expected surge in demand for power from the electric car revolution and could face blackouts and power cuts unless action is taken now, i revealed on Wednesday.
Sales of zero-emission and hybrid vehicles are expected to explode in the next two years, with more than 72,000 registrations last year, a figure predicted to break through the 100,000 mark by 2021.
The report cautioned that growth in electric vehicle use coupled with greater reliance on heat fuelled by electricity meant the national grid needs to have the capacity to deal with increased demand over the next decade.