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Press Release
Posted on January 17, 2019

Wireless EV charging could put London van fleets in the 'green lane'

UK Power Networks Services will work with UPS, High Speed 1 and WMG on an innovative new project to assess the feasibility of using wireless charging to support the use of electric vehicles in commercial fleets on London's roads. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vehicles 2018-2028.
 
Funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles in partnership with Innovate UK, the project will run from January to March 2019 and will investigate the feasibility of deploying wireless charging technology in three live locations across London and Tamworth. The purpose of the study is to understand the impact on infrastructure and the commercial viability of this type of charging. The study will also look at how its future use could reduce costs, improve productivity and safety, and increase the uptake of electric vehicle fleets across the UK.
 
UK Power Networks Services' director, Ian Smyth, is excited by what the study could mean for the growth of electric vehicles.
 
He said: "Wireless charging has the potential to deliver lower cost electric vehicle fleets, safer unobtrusive infrastructure and provides an important solution where constraints on physical space mean wired charging is not practical.We believe that the lack of wireless charging projects in the UK is primarily the result of many users considering this technology immature or lacking a strong business case. Wireless charging could allow drivers to stay in their vehicles and create a safer, more secure vehicle with greater productivity and lower cost. With so many potential benefits, commercial enterprises need to understand the case for wireless charging better."
 
The assessment will include the wireless charging of UPS delivery vans at their Tamworth depot while parcels are loaded, of electric taxis while waiting for passengers in the taxi rank outside St Pancras International railway station and of UK Power Networks' electric vans.
 
With transport responsible for around 20% of London's CO2 emissions, the introduction of low emission vehicles into London's commercial and public transport fleets could bring significant improvements of air quality in the capital.
 
"UPS is thrilled with the news of this future-focused grant. Speed and efficiency are essential to our smart global logistics network which moves 3% of the world's GDP daily," said Peter Harris, director of sustainability for UPS Europe. "With this new study comes the possibility of a new sustainability component to help charge our vehicles faster and more easily while adding a potential safety bonus for drivers. This is an exciting chapter in the future of what we call our rolling laboratory for alternative vehicles. We look forward to the findings here in the UK so that we can make an assessment on what we hope to be another step forward - with global implications - for a cleaner and more efficient commercial fleet."
 
Wendy Spinks, High Speed 1 Ltd Commercial Director said: "We are delighted to be supporting this innovative project that could help boost electric vehicle use in London."
 
WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) Professor of Power Electronics Richard McMahon said: "For WMG this is a great opportunity to work with our partners to demonstrate the practical wireless charging of electric vehicles to bring real opportunities for reducing emissions, especially in urban environments. This Project directly aligns with the Low Emissions Mobility strategy of The High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre at WMG."
 
Giving fleet operators more choice in charging infrastructure could enable more investment in electric vehicles and achieve a zero emissions transport system in London by 2050.
 
The feasibility study has the potential to lead to a second round of funding with the aim of demonstrating a viable technology system and commercial model, whilst unlocking a new market for electric vehicles, associated infrastructure, and the companies who service this market.
For further information please contact UK Power Networks press office on 03301 591712.
About UK Power Networks Services
UK Power Networks Services is an expert in distributed energy solutions and power distribution, delivering energy technology consulting, asset financing, major project delivery, design and build, operations and maintenance, and asset management.
 
We integrate new technologies, such as electric vehicle infrastructure, battery storage and microgrids. We provide end-to-end energy solutions and our experts help clients increase the productivity of their assets, decarbonise their infrastructure and realise their infrastructure as a strategic asset.
 
Our world-class engineers serve industries such as airports, rail, defence, water, logistics and fleet, manufacturing, ports, local and central government, and commercial buildings. Our high-profile public and private sector clients with critical infrastructure in complex environments, trust us to deliver safe, reliable and innovative energy solutions - allowing them to concentrate on their core business.
 
We have a proud 50 year history and our current portfolio includes the UK's six main airports, High Speed 1, Network Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, EDF (Hinkley Point C), Ministry of Defence, Felixstowe Port, UPS and Canary Wharf.
 
About UPS
UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably - for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Learn more about our efforts atups.com/sustainability. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at longitudes.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter.
 
About HS1 Ltd
HS1 Ltd has the 30 year concession to own and operate High Speed 1, the UK's first section of high speed rail, as well as the stations along the route: St Pancras International, Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International.
High Speed 1 is the rail line between St Pancras International in London and the Channel Tunnel and connects with the international high-speed routes between London and Paris, and London and Brussels.
In July 2017 HS1 Ltd. was acquired by a consortium comprising of funds advised and managed by InfraRed Capital Partners Limited and Equitix Investment Management Limited.
For further information please visit www.highspeed1.co.uk External Link
 
About the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles and Innovate UK funding
The Wireless Electric Fleets project is part of the Wireless electric vehicle charging for commercial users: feasibility studies competition, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.
As a first phase of an innovation funding programme worth c£40m, 27 feasibility studies will analyse the application and impact of innovative technologies for EV charging.
In particular, 18 feasibility studies will focus on how a well-design, well integrated EV charging infrastructure in public spaces can help facilitate the adoption of EVs among local residents without access to home charging due to lack of off-street parking.
Nine feasibility studies will instead focus on the application of Wireless EV charging to commercial users, reducing business disruptions to charge the vehicles and therefore increasing the attractiveness of the EV proposition.
These projects will define feasibility and sustainable models to maximise effectiveness and impact of infrastructure deployment. The wide variety of technologies and business models analysed in these studies will help implement a charging infrastructure that is affordable, dependable, and fair for all road users, and making owning an EV an attractive proposition for all.
 
In a subsequent phase of the funding round, the best projects will be competing for funding for implementation of real-world demonstrators.
 
Source: UK Power Networks Services
 
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Business and Technology Insight Forum - Novi June 2019 External Link on 10 - 12 Jun 2019 at Novi, Michigan, USA hosted by IDTechEx.