First public EV induction charging trial conducted
15 December 2021
Author: Sean Keywood
The first public trial of EV charging technology has been carried out in Buckinghamshire.
Charging firm Char.gy said the trial of the contactless technology, allowing EVs to be charged automatically without any need for cables or for drivers to interact with a charge point, had being conducted in Marlow with Buckinghamshire Council, using a low-power inductive charging installation from IPT Technology, and rental vehicles from Hiyacar.
The technology works via a charging plate installed in the road surface, and an induction charging pad installed in the EV, either as standard or as a retrofitted item.
Members of the public were invited to hire the adapted EVs for periods of up to three days and provide feedback on their experiences.
The Marlow trial is part of a wider series of tests being carried out with Office for Zero Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK funding.
The next stages of the project will see the scheme extended to different urban locations, as a precursor to testing a second-generation inductive fast charger developed by Warwick Manufacturing Group.
According to Char.gy, the absence of cables with the technology solves an inherent problem with on-street charging, removing trip hazards for pedestrians and meaning less mobile drivers do not need to walk up and down the kerb to plug in.
Char.gy inductive charging project manager Myles Roberts said: "Our business has really focused on use-cases where charging solutions are complicated.
"Inductive charging takes another step towards making on-street charging in urban contexts the de facto solution for people without off-street parking who want an EV, so we're delighted to have successfully concluded the first trial of the technology 'in the wild'.
"From here on, we're broadening the trial contexts with a number of new locations and we will also be moving the technology another step forward towards commercialisation with our partners."
Buckinghamshire Council cabinet member for climate change and environment Councillor Peter Strachan said: "The trial of inductive charging in Marlow really provided a sense of what the near future will look like.
"As a typical local authority looking to incentivise the adoption of EVs, managing the street scene and accommodating a wide variety of needs and preferences on our residential roads and pavements has - until now - proven to be very challenging.
"Inductive charging solves a great many of the problems and looks like a clear contender for how we organise our clean power infrastructure in the best interests of all of our residents."