Residents of Nottingham are going to witness a UK first: a wireless charging electric vehicle trial.
Nine electric taxis will roam the streets of the city, named after the trial itself, WiCET (Wireless Charging of Electric Taxis).
WiCET is a demonstration project funded by the UK Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), as one of Innovate UK’s portfolio of on-street wireless charging (OSWC) projects.
The etaxi fleet will consist of five plug-in hybrid LEVC TX taxis and four all-electric Nissan Dynamo taxis, all bearing the message “This electric taxi will charge wirelessly.”
To put it simply, the electric taxis will wirelessly top-up their battery by being parked on the induction pads especially built on the taxi rank street.
The WiCET taxis will be available for hail by the general public and they will collect vehicle data during the rides, including the journey distances and battery level.
According to the project partners, wireless charging will enable better service availability for passengers and allow more time collecting fares for taxi drivers. A special billing system will also be developed to ensure that drivers are correctly charged for the electricity used.
The trial will run for six months and is due to complete by March 2022. Its outcomes will be used to prove the technical and commercial case for the wireless charging of black cabs in medium and large cities.
The project is being funded by Innovate UK with some £3.4 million.
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