An innovative new project is being explored right here in Scotland and it is the trial of Britain’s first wireless charging hub for light commercial vehicles. It is set to be installed at Herriot-Watt university which is just outside of Edinburgh.
The City of Edinburgh Council have been awarded £1.6million in funding as part of this initiative by the Office for Low-Emission Vehicles. The project hopes to speed up the UK’s switch to EVs in commercial fleets by increasing the speed of charging and reducing the cost.
Researchers said they aim for the project to provide a shared logistics hub where charging can be carried out alongside the function of the commercial vehicle. Looking into the future, wireless charging could be the key to giving companies and the government, the push to make their fleets all-electric.
Longer journeys of commercial vehicles mean that they will need to charge away from their depot and need to maintain as short a journey time as possible from a profit point of view. This is where wireless hubs are the key to making EVs a sustainable option for businesses as they will not need to sacrifice their profit to benefit the environment.
Rapid and fast chargers make up less than 25% of public chargers and they are often difficult to access. This discourages companies to invest in EVs as they seem inconvenient and do not fit in with journey routes or estimated times. Having a wireless charging hub on major routes or at stop points would make EVs more of a viable option.
The cables associated with charging are seen as disadvantageous to companies as they require maintenance, staff training and are a potential health and safety risk in terms of injuries. Taking this aspect away from a charging is another reason why this project could be a huge step forward.
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