In a trial that will last for 18-months, Highways England is going to test out the technology that will enable charging of electric and hybrid vehicles while on the move.
To commence from later this year, the first of their kind trials will test how the technology would work safely and effectively on the country’s motorways and major A roads, allowing drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles to travel long distances without needing to stop and charge the car’s battery.
Highways England revealed that the trials have been planned post the completion of the feasibility study into ‘dynamic wireless power transfer’ technologies that it commissioned earlier.
Highways England is currently procuring the technology and trials will commence once the process is completed. The trials will involve fitting vehicles with wireless technology and testing the equipment, installed underneath the road, to replicate motorway conditions. Full details of the trials will be publicised when a successful contractor has been appointed.
The trials are expected to last for approximately 18 months and, subject to the results, could be followed by on road trials.
As well as investigating the potential to install technology to wirelessly power ultra-low efficient vehicles, Highways England is also committed in the longer-term to installing plug-in charging points every 20 miles on the motorway network as part of the government’s Road Investment Strategy.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said that the government is already committing £500 million over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology, which will help boost jobs and growth in the sector.
Jones added that the government will continue to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses.
Highways England Chief Highways Engineer Mike Wilson said: “Vehicle technologies are advancing at an ever increasing pace and we’re committed to supporting the growth of ultra-low emissions vehicles on our England’s motorways and major A roads.”
“The off road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country.”