UK to launch feasibility study for on-demand electric vehicle charging 

Posted: November 26, 2018 by oldbrew in innovation, News, Travel

Mobile EV charger

Could this be a viable option for aspiring EV owners who can’t park close enough to their homes to charge their batteries? A bit like a power bank for electronic devices, except not pocket-sized. £40 million is on the table to get a competition started.

FreeWire Technologies, a pioneer in flexible electric vehicle (EV) charging technology, has received funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK to participate in the Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging for Commercial Users competition, reports BusinessWire.

Supported by international energy and services company Centrica plc and delivered in partnership with Westminster City Council, the project will combine FreeWire’s mobile EV charging technology with Zipcar UK’s electrified fleet and driver patterns to test the feasibility of scalable on-demand EV charging deployments.

The aim of the competition is to develop business cases that will encourage the adoption of electrified transportation in the UK through widespread charging options.

The study will explore the potential benefits of mobile energy storage and wireless technology compared to fixed EV charging stations, which typically require high installation and labour costs as well as major electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the electricity grid.

“Our team is thrilled to present our mobile charging solutions for real-world applications in the United Kingdom,” said Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire Technologies. “We hope this feasibility study will prove that flexible EV charging can be effectively integrated in cities in the UK and around the world.”

The trial is being supported by Centrica’s innovation arm, which has been established to identify and accelerate new technology and ideas for homes and businesses. The company owns one of the country’s largest commercial fleets and has ambitions to electrify the 12,000-strong fleet of vans used by its team of British Gas engineers.

“Around 40% of the UK’s homes have no access to off-street parking, so it’s essential that we find cost-effective alternatives to home charging that will meet the growing demands of existing and future EV drivers,” said Jonathan Tudor, Technology Strategy and Innovation Director for Centrica Innovations. “We’re delighted to be working with leading innovators and entrepreneurs like FreeWire, who have a key role to play in helping to unlock a cleaner future for our towns and cities.”

During the first phase of the competition, 27 feasibility studies will analyse the impact of innovative technologies for EV charging backed by a £40 million funding programme.

Continued here.

See also: New York State Launches Initiatives To Spur EV Adoption — NGT News

  1. Dave Ward says:

    “A bit like a power bank for electronic devices, except not pocket-sized”

    So it’s a portable (just) battery, which you would first have to charge from the mains, then wheel outside to charge your electric car. Anyone care to calculate the round trip efficiency of this ludicrous arrangement?

  2. oldbrew says:

    I think the idea is that the mobile charger company brings one of its gadgets to a customer for a charge, then moves on to somebody else. But as its a competition, different ideas are presumably allowed.

  3. cognog2 says:

    A 5 gallon can of diesel would do the job very effectively. There I have just saved about £40 million +++ of wasted time.

  4. ivan says:

    Huumm, that box in the picture appears to be the ideal size for a sound suppressed diesel generator along the lines of the location film lighting generators that you don’t know are running unless you watch the gauges.

    Now where do I apply for my several £million for the idea?

    [reply] try here –

  5. Dave Ward says:

    @ ivan – that thought occurred to me as well. However, a unit of that size is not likely to be much more than 6-7 kVA, which only equates to about 30 miles of range per hour of charge.

  6. Saighdear says:

    Naw naw, guys – you’ve got it ALL WRONG! Quite simply we’ll have an electric powered Generator. Funny how we were just discussing this very thing , earlier – Watching a U Tube video – harvesting Corn in November – 500 hp engines on combines & Tractor Chasers taking grain to the trucks parked along side of field – if THEY were all electric, and in the heavy going wet conditions ran out of Juice – what WOULD they Do,? THINK – Weather worsening and possible loss of FOOD, …..Just that – get a portable Generator in to charge them up again .. Seemplz – Electric powered Generator of course ( what else could you have – NO Diesel or petrol available anymore.. )

  7. ivan says:

    @Dave, from what I have been able to find on the web the average charge rate for standard electric cars is 4-5 miles per 1 hr charge from a level 1 charger rising to about 15-25 miles per 1 hr charge from a level 2 charger. Much of this is dependant on the onboard charger.

    This is for non fleet cars. A we saw in an earlier post here fleet operators are using hybrid electric on fossil fuels only and are therefore out of the equation.

  8. Ve2 says:

    Should work a treat for a 65yo women manhandling that on an icy footpath.

  9. Saighdear says:

    Good morning all – too late last night to take in all this nonsense: has anyone had a cursory look at this depicted equipment? you would coff n spit as a launching site about their range of products – Hmmp silent running engine-driven generators (?) and what little I’ve gleaned in the passing – 13A Plugin voltage converter / battery charger… Lots of Piccy’s an Waffle – but not much substance of Specifications ….

  10. DB says:

    What’s to keep these things from being vandalized/stolen in the urban environment?

  11. Ve2 says:

    The honest nature of the general public.

  12. Dave Ward says:

    @ Saighdear – FreeWire Technologies are pushing the trade descriptions act a bit by calling their products “Mobi Gen” – they are NOT generators, but simply battery/inverter units, as I suspected in my initial comment. Their literature shows two models 40kWh & 80kWh, both with Max/Continuous outputs of 15/13 kW. They weight a hefty 1050lbs & 1560lbs respectively, and incorporate motors to drive the rear wheels!

    The blurb says that users don’t need an uprated electric supply, just normal sockets of a maximum 32amp rating, which is still more than twice a typical UK supply. They also suggest that you can take advantage of “Time Of Use” pricing, and re-charge them when electricity is cheap – seeing as how the company is based in California should we be surprised or worried?

    “Tops off 4-10 EVs in one charge” is mentioned, inferring that most EV applications won’t make use of the full capacity in one go. But as I thought, this barmy idea simply introduces a further loss of overall efficiency, so the source of power damn well NEEDS to be cheap! It also points towards an even greater need for raw materials to make the batteries, as one could envisage some 30% of all EV’s (those owners without driveways) needing a portable battery to charge their own cars batteries! And as DB says what’s to stop them being nicked?

    The lunatics have truly taken over…

  13. oldbrew says:

    Let’s see what the ’27 feasibility studies’ come up with 😎

  14. oldbrew says:

    Date: 27/11/18 The Washington Times

    The White House is threatening to curtail federal subsidies for electric cars in response to General Motors’ decision to shut down auto production at plants in Ohio and Michigan.

    Bad news for the workers but…

    ‘GM said Monday it is closing the plants, in part, due to low demand for certain car models, including the electric Chevrolet Volt.’ 😂

  15. Saighdear says:

    @Dave Ward, Yes, I didn’t find that Info so easily on a kwik-browse of their Site – ( Just hate those websites – full-o-bullsh and no substance ie detailed Specs. – That’s what I use when buying – not the glitz n glam stuff )
    Have a look at this site tho – to find out how far youo get for your Buck ! – will you be able to return to the stable ?

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