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GREEN MEANS GO NEW ELECTRIC TAXI LIVERY FOR UK’S


FIRST WIRELESS CHARGING TRIAL IN NOTTINGHAM


Nottingham will see nine electric taxis adorned in a new green and blue livery as part of a wireless charging EV trial funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). Five plug-in hybrid LEVC TX Electric Taxis, and four electric Nissan Dynamo taxis, will promote the WiCET (Wireless Charging of Electric Taxis) branding, with “This electric taxi will charge wirelessly”. The taxis will be available on Nottingham’s streets for the general public as they capture vehicle data for the trial, including journey distances and battery level. The first two WiCET electric taxis were fitted with wireless charging technology earlier this summer, and the remaining vehicles will be wirelessly enabled at the beginning of next year. Wireless EV charging occurs when a compatible vehicle is stationary over a wireless induction pad which can be built into the roads surface, to top up battery power. This offers a convenient alternative to conventional plug-in chargepoints without the need for cables. This technology will help provide better service availability for passengers and allow more time collecting fares for taxi drivers. Charging the taxi wirelessly through short bursts will also help reduce range anxiety and optimise battery usage.


The convenience of wireless charging makes EVs a more desirable proposition for taxi drivers. The livery will be on the taxis for the duration of the trial, which is due to complete by March 2022. Cllr Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment at Nottingham City Council, said: “Wireless charging is


the next step to make electric taxis even more convenient and easier for drivers to use – and no need for cables on our taxi ranks! We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from passengers about how much quieter and pleasant the lectric taxis are. I’m looking forward to seeing this new technology trialled on our streets”. Matthew Knight, Hardware Trials & Data Integration Lead at Cenex, said: “A key part of transitioning to zero emission EVs is making charging easy and convenient for all users; this wireless charging solution will enable taxi drivers to spend more time on the road rather than waiting to top up.” Richie Frost, founder and CEO of Sprint Power, said: “Our engineering team has been busy developing a custom interface module and software, together with a bespoke integration kit for each vehicle, allowing the electric taxis to be retrofitted with wireless charging capabilities.”


CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYRES FOR YOUR ELECTRIC CAR TO AVOID A NASTY SHOCK


Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) maybe in for a shock if they don’t pay close attention to the tyres they choose when the originals need replacing. Increasingly, the tyres fitted are specifically designed for use on EVs and can be significantly different to the ‘normal’ tyres motorists are familiar with. TyreSafe is warning EV owners that fitting the wrong type of tyre could result in loss of range, extra noise, accelerated wear and the risk of failing while being driven, which could result in a serious incident. There are a wide range of factors which are important to choosing the right tyre, which the vehicle manufacturer has already taken into account when fitting the originals at the factory. The vehicle’s weight is just one as it influences the amount of air pressure required to keep a tyre in its optimal shape along with the stiffness of its sidewall and even its centre section. EVs are well-known for being heavier than their petrol or diesel equivalents, so an owner must be aware of their tyre’s load rating when a replacement is


SEPTEMBER 2021


needed as well as maintaining the recommended tyre pressure at all times. Another consideration is the impact tyre choice can have on an EV’s range, due to its ‘rolling resistance’. A tyre should have the least rolling resistance as possible, however, as always, a balance needs to be struck as grip is essential for safety when it comes to braking. Minimising rolling resistance while providing adequate grip seems like a contradictory requirement but this is a key performance characteristic for EVs to ensure maximum range. The tyre also needs to be robust as EVs produce maximum power from standing. This places high demands on the rubber compound, which needs to be of the right mixture of components and have the appropriate tread pattern to provide a lifespan comparable with petrol or diesel vehicles. Full details and explanation of the differences between tyres for EVs and combustion-engined cars can be found at: tyresafe.org in the ‘About Tyres’ section.


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