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‘This could be a game-changer’: Coventry project to explore wireless lorry charging

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How a dynamic recharging network could look. The Coventry project will explore the technology's feasibility, and the potential for a real-world demonstrator
How a dynamic recharging network could look. The Coventry project will explore the technology's feasibility, and the potential for a real-world demonstrator

Buried charging infrastructure could wirelessly charge electric lorries – or even power them directly – to slash carbon emissions from freight transport, the partners behind a new project have said.

Engineering consultancy Ricardo said it hopes to put heavy duty vehicles ‘on the right road to becoming fully electric’ by supporting the scheme led by Coventry City Council.

The project, which also involves electricity distribution network operator WPD, will assess the feasibility of dynamic wireless charging in the UK and the potential for a real-world demonstrator.

“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.”

The results will assess the electrical impact and requirements of the technology on the distribution network, and help forecast the uptake in Coventry and elsewhere.

The study will also look at opportunities for a future demonstrator in Coventry, which would demonstrate real-world operation of the technology and how to tackle potential challenges.

Steven Pinkerton-Clark, WPD’s innovation and 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 project is funded through the Ofgem Network Innovation Allowance. Other partners include Cenex, Coventry University, Hubject, Midlands Connect, National Express, Transport for West Midlands and Electreon.

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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