Wireless electric vehicle charging currently being trialled could come to Buckingham if successful

Buckinghamshire Council is one of the first local authorities in the country to pilot the new system, in Marlow

Monday, 27th September 2021, 4:59 pm
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 5:00 pm

A pilot scheme to trial a new method of wireless charging for electric cars is under way in the south of Buckinghamshire - and could be rolled out in Buckingham, if successful.

Buckinghamshire Council has become one of the first local authorities in the country to pilot the system.

Instead of plugging an electric car into a standard charging pillar, the pilot scheme running in Marlow uses an innovative induction wireless charging pad set into the ground. The pad is only activated when an electric car installed with a specialised induction pad parks over it.

Councillor Steven Broadbent

Because existing electric cars don’t have wireless charging, Marlow residents can hire an adapted Renault Zoe electric vehicle using the hire car company HiyaCar, so they can try it out and become familiar with how to charge it using the wireless pad. It can also be charged using a standard cable connection if driven away from the wireless pad.

Bucks Council says the trial will help it assess solutions to electric vehicle (EV) charging that avoid potential trip hazards and a clutter of wires.

Steven Broadbent, cabinet member for transport, said: "This is a really exciting project and it’s been brilliant to see it in action. Buckinghamshire Council is forward thinking and willing to trial transport innovations such as this.

“The trial will explore the feasibility of wireless charging and will also allow residents who may be hesitant to change to an EV the chance to try one. The car offers hourly or daily rental options so for some people it could be an alternative to owning a car.

"This technology is still in the early stages but it should all make running an electric vehicle simpler and easier – to ultimately encourage more take-up.”

The Marlow demonstrator vehicle is funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles as part of a government commitment to invest £1.3 billion on charging infrastructure for EVs across the country. Buckinghamshire Council is working with the charging point company Char.gy, and with other local authorities, suppliers and researchers to run a set of trials in contrasting locations across Britain.

The Marlow trial is supported locally by the South West Chilterns Community Board, and the trial will soon be expanded to Burnham and Little Chalfont in the south of Bucks, along with Milton Keynes and the London Borough of Redbridge.

A Bucks Council spokesperson told the Advertiser: "If this trial is deemed a success, then we'll widen the installations and may look at areas such as Aylesbury and Buckingham."