Sprint Power, a British firm that specializes in electrified propulsion systems, power electronics and battery systems, is leading a UK government-backed project that aims to demonstrate the suitability of wireless charging technology for fleet vehicles.
Funding for the wireless charging project has been provided by Innovate UK, a public body designed to drive research and development into new technologies. Sprint Power has developed a series of wireless charging modules ahead of the trial, which is to take place on the streets of Leeds, Nottingham and Warwick, for a period of between six and nine months.
Project AMiCC (AMiCable Charging) will use eight modified Nissan Leaf and Nissan ENV200 models to evaluate the benefits of using wireless charging systems for security, estate and pool car fleets. Many of these fleets have low downtime and high utilization, so drivers have just a short window to recharge. Wireless charging could make EVs more viable for their use cases.
Sprint Power has developed an electrical distribution system (EDS), a power distribution module (PDM), and a high-voltage harness assembly that will enable the vehicles to charge wirelessly via ground-mounted pads.
Each vehicle used in the trial will feature both wireless and plug-in charging capability. Sprint’s bespoke system will automatically recognize which power source to draw current from, and a display screen inside the cabin will indicate to the user the status of each charge.
A machine learning algorithm will capture information such as vehicle movement and optimum charging behavior, and drivers will report their experiences. The results will be shared with Innovate UK, and could be used to formulate a code of best practice.
“As we move steadily towards the UK’s ban on pure ICE vehicles in 2030, more commercial operations will be switching their fleets to electric vehicles,” said Richie Frost, founder and CEO of Sprint Power. “This pioneering trial aims to make this transition easier through the development and implementation of wireless charging.”
Source: Sprint Power