Wireless charging to be trialed for Nottingham taxis, Government announces

Mike Wright
One of the taxi ranks were the wireless technology will be installed - Nottingham City Council

Wireless electric car charging is to be trialed on British roads for the first time this year, the Government has announced.

The Department for Transport said it is spending £3.4 million installing wireless technology at taxi ranks in Nottingham.

The charging points will allow electric taxis to charge while waiting in line for customers without having to park up at a charging point.

The Government said if the six-month trial is successful it could see the technology rolled out more widely for the public, making it easier to charge electric vehicles on the move.

The scheme, which is being run with Nottingham City Council, will see the authority fit ten Nissan and LEVC electric taxis with wireless technology that will then be hired out to cabbies rent free.

Currently, electric taxi drivers have to find an off-street plug and stop accepting business while charging. The scheme, which will launch later in 2020, will allow the cars charge in bursts as they move along the rank. 

As well as helping to speed up vehicle charging, ministers said the project will help reduce emissions and improve the air quality in the city centres.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, said: “Taxi drivers up and down the country are at the vanguard of the electric vehicle revolution, playing a leading role in reducing air pollution in our city centres where people live, shop and work.

“New wireless technology will make using an electric taxi quicker and more convenient, allowing drivers to charge up at taxi ranks before heading off with their next passenger.”

The Government has trialled wireless charging before with a scheme in Milton Keynes in 2014 that saw buses charged in their depots.

However, this will be the first time the Government is testing the technology in a public setting.

The scheme comes amid broader efforts to convince drivers to switch to low-emission electric vehicles. 

For instance, ministers have already pledged £20 million to encourage local councils to install more charging points in England and Scotland.   

The initiatives are part of the Government's pledge to reduce the UK's emissions to net zero by 2050.

Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “Charging technology, including wireless, is vital in giving consumers confidence to make the switch from petrol to electric cars. This pioneering trial in Nottingham, and others like it, will help us take crucial steps towards lower emissions and cleaner air.

“We are determined to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050 - and delivering cleaner and greener transport systems is a key part of this”.