UK firm begins public trial of wireless EV chargers

Char.gy Wireless EV Charging pad

Bedfordshire-based trial will make use of ten Renault Zoe EVs with modified battery packs

A UK-based firm has begun a 12-month trial for an induction pad that is able to charge electric vehicles wirelessly, using a fleet of modified Renault Zoes. 

Char.gy, an electric vehicle charging specialist, has developed the charging pad technology in hope that it will provide improved access to chargers for those without off-street access, as well as highlighting the importance of car sharing. 

“This new charging solution will mean that in the near future, those without access to private charging via garages, driveways or other off-street parking options will be able to charge their vehicles efficiently and cable-free,” the firm said. 

“This infrastructure means no charging cable – potentially hazardous for other road or pavement users, and no lamppost charging, and is only activated when an EV parks over it.” 

The company says the technology, which works through an electrical induction charging pad installed into the ground, has been tested extensively at Millbrook.

The pads have been developed by the University of Warwick and wireless power specialist IPT Technology, utilising similar technology currently in use by the number seven bus route in Milton Keynes. 

The study will make use of ten Renault Zoe models supplied by car-sharing firm Hiyacar, each equipped with an aftermarket induction charging kit. The general public can rent one of the cars for £1 per hour or £5 per day (plus additional insurance costs) and its conventional charging cable can still be used.

The first trial is currently taking place in Marlow in Buckinghamshire, where a pad has been implemented into a dedicated parking space in Marlow’s Liston Road Car Park. 

A further nine trial locations are expected to follow, spread around Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. The Open University, also based in Milton Keynes, will gather research based on driver feedback about the project to gauge its success.