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Coventry University helps to create tech to charge electric vehicles as they drive

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Coventry University helps to create tech to charge electric vehicles as they drive

Coventry University is contributing to a pioneering new technology to enable recharging of electric vehicles as they drive on power-enabled roads…

The technology is one of six innovations proposed by the Key Cities Innovation Network (KCIN) in “Civic Partners in Net Zero”, a collection of peer-reviewed studies detailing innovative ways in which universities are working with their local communities to achieve net zero targets.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change:

“Innovation will be one of the ways we tackle the causes and consequences of climate change, and innovation is something we are very good at here in Coventry, especially in the transport sector which is in our DNA. It is great to be collaborating with Coventry University and Cenex to show how roads can be used to charge vehicles as they pass by and solutions like this will enable the transition to electric vehicles to happen more quickly.”

KCIN co-ordinates universities associated with the cross-party group of 27 Key Cities across England and Wales – including Coventry – which is the largest grouping of urban authorities in the UK outside London. The studies, selected not only for local relevance but also their potential for replicating in other places, range from tech innovation and policy development to engaging local communities with climate science.

Local action on climate change was flagged as a priority by Key Cities last year, when they commissioned a study tracking the performance of local authorities across a range of climate indicators.

Coventry’s innovation focuses on the city’s longstanding expertise in automotive. Dynacov – short for “dynamic charging of vehicles” – uses dynamic wireless transfer technology to establish an automatic connection between subscribing vehicles and metal coils fitted below the road surface to recharge the vehicles’ batteries as they pass over and bill them for the energy consumed. Even as cities move towards car-free centres, this approach is seen as a great way of keeping buses and goods deliveries moving without harming the environment.

Funded by Western Power Distribution, part of the National Grid, and building on dynamic wireless transfer technology prototyped by ElectReon, Dynacov is a feasibility project by Coventry University and Coventry City Council, which is leading the project, in collaboration with Cenex, focusing on a section of Kenilworth Road at its junction with the A45. Current targets for phasing out non-zero emission HGVs by 2040 don’t specify a technology or infrastructure for decarbonisation and it is hoped this project will attract government support and funding for the next stages to trial an effective solution to that as yet unanswered question.

Kevin Vincent, Director of Coventry University’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Automotive Research:

“Dynacov demonstrates the benefits of universities and local authorities sharing a common vision for the sustainable future of our cities and then having the agility to work in a collaborative and timely manner with industry stakeholders to effect positive change.” 

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