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Arup outfits 2 electric C1s with HaloIPT wireless charging system for Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator competition

Arup, leader of the CABLED consortium—which is trialing 110 vehicles as part of the UK’s Technology Strategy Boards £25-million (US$41 million) Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator competition (earlier post)—has brought two Citroën C1 electric vehicles into the project, each fitted with the HaloIPT’s wireless charging technology (earlier post) in addition to the standard plug-in conductive charging ability.

HaloIPT’s induction power technology (IPT) uses strongly coupled magnetic resonance to transfer from a primary-side power supply to a secondary-side pick-up pad with controller. To initiate charging, an electric vehicle simply has to be parked or even driven over a pad on the ground.

HaloIPT is potentially a game-changing technology for electric vehicles. Users can simply park their vehicle in a bay with this technology, and forget any worries of finding a 3-pin socket and connecting cables. There are a number of perceived barriers to plugging in an electric vehicle in the mind of the potential consumer and this project intends to demonstrate that inductive charging is a practical alternative. Having driven a conductively charged vehicle for 12 months myself, I’m personally very interested in unearthing users’ perceptions of the HaloIPT system to see how it compares to the current charging methods.

We feel that having HaloIPT in the trial represents a significant step forward on the road to making electric vehicles more convenient for use by the general public.

—Neil Butcher of Arup

To support the vehicles, the HaloIPT charging system will be installed at either the user’s home or work location, making it the first public deployment of this system. The users also have the backup of a plug-in cable charging point, and can access the CABLED public charging infrastructure installed by E.ON across Birmingham and Coventry city centres.

Data monitoring equipment will be installed on the two vehicles to provide information on vehicle charging and energy usage. The resulting data from the trial—which is being analysed with other vehicles involved in the CABLED trials by Aston University—will then be published to inform potential users and vehicle manufacturers of the benefits of wireless inductive charging.

Mitsubishi completed the first part of the CABLED project last December, following 12-month trials of 25 i-MiEVs. Additional vehicles in the trials include the Tata Indica Vista, the smart fortwo electric drive, Jaguar Land Rover’s Range_e and hydrogen urban cars from Micro:cab.

The West Midlands consortium, called CABLED—short for Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators—is made up of 12 organizations, led by Arup. The consortium will develop and demonstrate more than 100 road-worthy vehicles to be trialed in the two cities over 12 months. Part funding for the project was provided by regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands.

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