Nottingham becomes home to ground breaking demonstration of wireless charging of electric taxis
Five wireless charging pads are being installed at the Trent Street rank and nine council owned electric taxis fitted with wireless charging hardware in the UK’s first trial of wireless charging technology of its kind.
Wireless charging enabled vehicles will soon be available for loan on a free trial to licenced taxi drivers to experience the technology first-hand. The council and its project partners will closely monitor the trial and feedback learning to Government to help shape future regulations and delivery of wireless charging projects.
The council secured £930,000 from the Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles through Innovate UK for the WiCET project. This is a UK first involving both London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) and Nissan Dynamo electric taxis, placing Nottingham at the forefront of green technology innovation.
Wireless charging technology has many benefits that we hope to demonstrate throughout the trial. These include:
- Easy and convenient charging – Drivers will be able to start a charge by driving over the pad without needing to leave their vehicle
- Time saving – Drivers will be able to charge their taxi at the rank whilst waiting for passengers without the need to leave the rank.
- Reducing street clutter – With no charging cables required as the wireless charging equipment is built into the road surface
It is hoped these benefits will encourage the adoption of electric taxis in the city, which will lead to a reduction in emissions and help the city to achieve its carbon neutral 2028 target.
For more information visit the project website here
Interested in loaning a WiCET taxi?
Sign-ups are now open to Nottingham licenced Hackney Carriage drivers! To make an expression of interest to take part in the trial click here to complete our survey.
Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions below for further information.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will the trial cost?
The vehicle loan is free! All we ask for is a £100 deposit which will be fully refunded when the vehicle is returned in satisfactory condition and that you pay the electricity costs to charge the vehicles wirelessly at Trent Street.
How long will the trial last?
The trial will last 30-60 calendar days. This will depend on the number of drivers who register an interest.
What about insurance?
Vehicles will be provided fully insured through Somerset Bridge, which covers drivers for “hire and reward”. For insurance eligibility, participants:
- must hold a full clean driving licence,
- be a minimum of 25 years of age, and
- will need to contribute £250 towards the Excess on the policy should any accident occur.
A copy of the Insurance Product Information Document is available to drivers upon request.
How do I sign up for the trial?
You can sign up by completing the online form found here.
Where do I pick up/return the trial vehicle?
You can collect and return the vehicle from the Nottingham Electric Vehicle Service (NEVS) office, Eastcroft Depot at a pre-arranged time between the hours of 9am-4pm.
Can I lease the vehicle from the Council long term?
Funding to support this trial has been provided for short term loans only.
What vehicles can I access during the trial?
There are nine trial vehicles in total, five of which are London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC TX) and four Nissan Dynamo (Nissan e-NV200) taxis
Can I use my existing taxi during the trial?
No. As the Council operate a cap on the number of Hackney Carriage licences, your vehicle will have to be given to NEVS at the Eastcroft Depot for safe storage whilst the trial vehicle is assigned. Vehicles will be handed back at the end of the trial.
What happens once I’ve submitted my Expression of Interest form?
Broadly, the scheme will operate as follows:
- Submit Expression of Interest form online through the link
- Once your details are checked and verified. You will be sent a link to complete a further online Driver Behaviour Survey which will help with vehicle allocations and with the projects research aims.
- Once you have submitted the Driver Behaviour Survey, we will contact you to agree the vehicle loan dates.
- When you have your loan start date confirmed we will send over a training manual for you to learn more about the wireless charging equipment as well as the vehicle loan agreements for you to read over and sign.
- You should report to NEVS on the agreed date to collect the trial vehicle. Vehicles will only be issued when the loan documentation has been signed and the £100 deposit paid.
- You will be given an induction to the vehicle and will be required to take part in a short 15-minute training session at Trent Street to show you how to use the wireless charging equipment.
- During the trial you will provide feedback on your experience with wireless charging to Coventry University through weekly telephone interviews arranged at your convenience.
- At the end of your trial, you should hand the vehicle back at NEVS on the agreed date and time.
- After the vehicle has been inspected your £100 deposit is returned.
What is the battery range of the vehicle?
The LEVC taxi offers 63 miles of pure electric range, with the petrol engine range extender the total range possible is around 318 miles. The Nissan Dynamo taxi is a pure electric taxi and has an estimated range between 124 – 187 miles. Real world range varies depending on types of roads regularly driven on (urban roads vs motorway) and driving style.
How and where do I charge the vehicle?
The vehicles can be charged both wirelessly and through normal plug in methods.
For the purposes of the trial drivers are required to use the the new wireless charging pads at Trent Street. However, depending on driving miles you may also need to use plug in chargers to boost your range.
The Council has invested in a network of rapid and fast chargers across the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area.
How much does it cost to wirelessly charge?
The wireless charging tariff will be set below the rate of D2N2 network chargers. So as well as being more convenient, regular wireless charging will also be more cost effective for drivers than plugging in.
What is the charging speed?
The wireless chargers are designed to help you regularly top up the charge on your vehicles battery throughout the day, the new pads on Trent Street will provide around 11kW. If you are very low on charge 50kW rapid chargers (available on the D2N2 public network) will take 45 minutes to an hour to fully charge your vehicles battery.
How do I operate the vehicle?
A full handover will be provided before you take the vehicle out, to explain how to operate the vehicle and the wireless charging system. A supplementary driver’s pack will be provided with handouts on how the vehicle works alongside a smartphone App and links to training videos that explain how the vehicle works in more detail.
What if there is an emergency or I breakdown?
In emergency circumstances, the vehicle comes with full breakdown cover. Aftercare and out of hours support details will be included in the documents sent over when you sign up.
Who do I contact if I want to find out more about the trial?
You can get in touch via email at email@example.com