England is very proud of its black cabs (or hackney carriage taxis), which are designed to best cope with urban environments. Unlike ordinary passenger vehicles, the hackney carriages provide easy access, roomy interiors, and they are supremely maneuverable in tight spaces.
In recent years, the Department for Transport (DfT) of the United Kingdom started electrifying its taxi fleet to lower emissions. Their pursuit of making the black cabs even more usable doesn’t stop there, though. Now, England will start testing wireless charging technology in Nottingham.
Wireless charging already made strides in the smartphone world – every high-end smartphone today has this feature. However, we are still to see a viable implementation in the automotive world.
Using knowledge gathered from the wireless charging systems used for the famous Milton Keynes buses, the DfT will try to make life easier for taxi drivers. In the testing phase, they will equip ten black cabs with the parts needed for wireless charging and five wireless charging plates.
With this technology, cab drivers only need to park the vehicle over plates on the road, and the car will start charging immediately. This is much more convenient than exiting the car and plugging it into a charger, and then disconnecting it when a passenger enters the vehicle.
“New wireless technology will make using an electric taxi quicker and more convenient, allowing drivers to charge up at taxi ranks before heading off with their next passenger,“ said Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport.
The United Kingdom government already awarded a grant of £37m ($48m) to a London-based startup called char.gy to implement wireless charging pads on residential streets in larger cities across the country.
“We are determined to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050, and delivering cleaner and greener transport systems is a key part of this,” said Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.