UK electric vehicle technology company Sprint Power is leading a UK government-backed project that aims to demonstrate the suitability of wireless charging technology for taxis.
Taxi ranks in the medium to large cities of Nottingham, Coventry and London are to be fitted with inductive pads allowing the vehicles to charge while waiting for the next ride. Wireless charging has the potential to increase range and by reducing the need to plug-in means vehicles can be in service for more of a driver’s shift.
The project involves a fleet of ten range-extended LEVC TX (the low emission version of London’s iconic “black cab”) and eight pure-electric Nissan models. Sprint Power has modified the vehicles for both wireless and plug-in charging and developed the charging technology.
Project partner University of Nottingham is currently commissioning the first prototype, with all vehicles due to be on-road from early autumn. Members of the public will be able to spot the special taxis by their distinctive livery, while passengers can learn more about how the technology works via posters in each vehicle.
Funding for the project has been awarded by Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body funded by the UK government and designed to drive research and development into new technologies. In addition to Sprint Power, 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.
Founder and CEO of Sprint Power, Richie Frost, said: “We are delighted to be part of this pioneering project and are on track to deliver these custom-built products for the taxis hitting the streets of Nottingham.
“I firmly believe this exciting project underscores the importance of wireless charging technology to this country’s shift towards sustainable mobility.”