DfT backs EV charging trials

The Department of Transport has granted £2.2m to companies trialing new technology for charging electric commercial vehicles.

Transport Minister John Hayes has announced that ZAPINAMO has been awarded £2.2m to work with WMG and others to trial technology for ultra-high speed rapid and movable charging technology for commercial vehicles.

ZAPINAMO’s technology uses on/off grid and renewable sources for EV charging and is capable of delivering over 400kW to charge a vehicle in minutes. This represents a step change in how EVs are charged as it is the first technology which can meet the demands of electric commercial vehicles with long and demanding duty cycles.

The freight and delivery trials will be carried out by ZAPINAMO, supported by IVECO, Farmdrop and WMG at the University of Warwick, with the trials taking place in Bermondsey, South London.

John Hayes, Transport Minister, said, ‘It is fantastic that ZAPINAMO is willing to explore zero emission technologies, which will help improve air quality and reduce pollution in towns and cities. This is yet another important significant step towards this government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions from transport to help tackle climate change. We are already making headway through our investment in low emission vehicles, greener public transport and walking and cycling, as well as grants for innovative advanced biofuels projects.’

Professor of Power Electronics at WMG at the University of Warwick Richard McMahon added, ‘Zapinamo has won funding under the low emissions freight trail scheme to provide a rapid charging facility for Farmdrop’s fleet of electric vans based at their Bermondsey depot. WMG has a key role in the project, drawing on its experience of complex power electronics based systems in defining the power conversion technology for the local battery energy store which delivers the fast charging whilst being gradually recharged from the mains.

‘WMG’s commitment to developing highly efficient power converters using new wide band-gap semiconductor devices will provide the basis for future advances in ZAPINAMO’s system.’

Tim Martin, ZAPINAMO CEO, said, ‘This is a great day for ZAPINAMO, the emerging commercial EV industry and its involvement in electrifying urban freight and logistics. A significant step towards all important air quality improvement and benefits for all. Our technology is a global first and it is fantastic to be trialling it in London with our partners.’