World’s first trial of a wireless van charging technology has begun in Edinburgh today (26), stated media reports, amid speculation that this technology will be game-changing for grocery delivery due to anticipated increased use of electric vans and lorries in the near future.
Flexible Power Systems (FPS), the technology company behind the wireless van charging project has said the technology may “revolutionise the home delivery landscape”, reports said.
“Wireless charging could offer fleets efficiencies in terms of the number of chargers needed, the time required for charging and space in depots, all barriers to electrification,” said FPS MD Michael Ayres. “In future, driverless vans could even be used, as no one is needed to plug-in charging cables.”
The government-funded £1.6 million project, which is being led by UK’s EV fleet specialist, is geared at testing four Vauxhall electric vans that have been modified to allow them to charge wirelessly via specially designed pads situated on the ground below.
Grocery suppliers and wholesalers foresee electric vans and lorries as the future with Cotswold Fayre, Sainsbury’s and Ocado being the torchbearers.
“I expect all wholesalers will be expected to be delivering in electric vans and lorries soon – we will want to lead the way,” Paul Hargreaves, CEO at Cotswold Fayre, leading wholesale distributor, told Asian Trader earlier in reference to expected innovation in the wholesale sector.
While Sainsbury’s reportedly uses the zero-emission electric vans, Evie, to deliver some online orders, Ocado Zoom, the rapid grocery delivery service owned by British online grocer Ocado Retail, launched a trial of electric vehicles in February this year as part of a target to become net-zero carbon emissions by 2035.
FPS claims the wireless system will enable the vehicles to charge up in less than an hour when parked above the electric pads- something which will accelerate the development of autonomous freight transport, it was announced this morning.
The company is working on the “ground-breaking” road trials alongside researchers from Heriot-Watt University, as well as trade bodies LogisticsUK and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).