Global strategic engineering and environmental consultancy Ricardo and the Coventry City Council have announced plans to work alongside electricity distribution network operator, Western Power Distribution, to investigate dynamic wireless charging solutions for electric vehicles.
The study, which will consist of research and data modelling, will focus on the technological and electrical usage requirements in Coventry as a means to assess a wider UK rollout.
Dynamic wireless charging, also referred to as dynamic wireless power transfer (WPT), is something of a holy grail for electric vehicle manufacturers. Many people are familiar with the technology as it relates to our smartphones, and the benefits of similar wireless charging abilities for our vehicles is not difficult to imagine.
Ricardo, Western Power Distribution (WPD), and the Coventry City Council, will team up to assess the electrical impact and requirements of wireless charging technology on the Coventry distribution network.
The study will also look at the feasibility of dynamic wireless charging in and of itself, as well as look forwards by helping forecast the uptake of the technology in Coventry, and then throughout the United Kingdom.
The study will also investigate the possibility of developing a future demonstrator project in Coventry designed to demonstrate the real-world operation of dynamic wireless charging, and how potential challenges can be addressed.
Ricardo is particularly focused on the impact such wireless charging would have for the commercial vehicle sector and heavy-duty vehicles.
“This technology allows electric vehicles to charge their batteries or be powered directly, while being driven, and would allow vehicles with demanding duty cycles to switch from petrol or diesel to being electric,” said Denis Naberezhnykh, Technical Director at Ricardo.
“This could be a game-changer as the automotive industry looks for ways to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and indicates just how important this project is.”
The 11-month study will be led by Coventry City Council with WPD, and will also include other partners including, Cenex, Coventry University, Hubject, Midlands Connect, National Express, Transport for West Midlands, and Electreon.
The Coventry wireless charging study comes several months after a consortium led by German car maker Volkswagen announced their intention to develop and implement a similar project.
The eCharge project – which won won €1.9 million ($A3 million) in funding from the German Government – will involve Israeli wireless road charging company Electreon, who will integrate its wireless charging receiver into a Volkswagen EV to further test the technology and develop an “economical and functional” solution for wireless road charging.