Environmental experts Ricardo and electricity distributor Western Power Distribution (WPD) combine to assess technological and electrical usage requirements of wireless power transfer for commercial vehicles in Coventry and potential wider UK deployment
Heavy duty vehicles could be on the right road to becoming fully electric with the support of Ricardo, a world-class environmental, engineering and strategic consultancy.
Ricardo’s expert team will be supporting a project led by Coventry City Council, working alongside electricity distribution network operator, WPD to investigate the implementation of dynamic wireless charging solutions for electric vehicles in Coventry. The project is funded through the Ofgem Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) mechanism.
The study will consist of research and data modelling to assess feasibility for dynamic wireless charging in the UK and the potential for the first real-world demonstrator in the UK.
Denis Naberezhnykh, Technical Director at Ricardo, said: “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. 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.”
Ricardo will undertake the project management and technical review of the project activities and outputs on behalf of WPD, utilising its experience in the field and providing an additional level of technical expertise and quality assurance.
It is an 11-month study that is being led by Coventry City Council with WPD and other partners including, Cenex; Coventry University; Hubject; Midlands Connect; National Express; Transport for West Midlands; and Electreon.
Steven Pinkerton-Clark, WPD’s Innovation & Low Carbon Network Engineer, said: “This project will assess the technology’s potential to support decarbonisation of transport and meeting UK Net Zero targets. The study will look at developing an understanding of how this technology can be connected to the electricity network and aims to minimise network reinforcement costs, while enabling the connection of low carbon technologies to benefit our customers.”
The results will assess the electrical impact and requirements of the technology on the distribution network, look at the feasibility of dynamic wireless charging and help forecast the uptake in Coventry and throughout the UK.
The study will also look at specific opportunities for a future demonstrator to be implemented in Coventry to demonstrate the real-world operation of the technology and how to address potential challenges.