WiCET: Wireless Charging of Electric Taxis

WiCET: Wireless Charging of Electric Taxis


The Office Zero Emissions Vehicles. Delivered through Innovate UK.



Value to Coventry University


Project team

Professor Stewart Birrell

Dr Arun Ulahannan


  • Cenex (Lead)
  • Coventry University
  • Hangar-19 Limited
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Shell Research Limited
  • Sprint Power Technology Limited
  • Transport for London
  • Lumen Freedom

Project Duration

01/06/2022 - 31/12/2022

Project overview

The WiCET project aims to evaluate the commercial and technical viability of wireless charging for electric taxis. 

Electrification of taxi fleets in congested city areas is a crucial step in the reduction of transport emissions and improving air quality. However, the time taken for high-mileage taxi drivers to recharge can lower the driver’s earning potential. Cable charging with physical connections is usually inconvenient and impractical in a taxi rank.

Live trails will give taxi drivers the opportunity to wirelessly recharge their vehicles, in-rank, while waiting for their next passengers. The system allows simultaneous charging of multiple vehicles so that drivers can use the rank for short, top-up charging bursts while they queue for fares without needing to leave their vehicle.

Project objectives

  • To install new wireless charging ground pads at the Trent Street taxi rank in Nottingham city centre. 
  • To develop new software to enable the automatic and seamless billing of electricity costs when using the wireless charger.
  • To develop new interfaces to support the driver in the alignment of their vehicle with the wireless charging ground pad.
  • To understand how wireless charging could enable better management of electric vehicle range and the subsequent impact on a taxi driver’s business.
  • To understand the wider implications of enabling easier use of electric vehicles for green technology and green thinking in society.
    • Demonstrating wireless charging on a live taxi rank gives us a unique insight into the impact of this technology on future electric taxis.
    • Much of the concern around electric vehicles centres around managing the range of the battery throughout the day. This is especially true for taxi drivers, for which their business depends on being able to confidently complete journeys for passengers.
    • The charging pads are installed at the busiest rank in Nottingham, making them highly visible to both drivers and the general public. This has the impact of highlighting this new, green technology and raising awareness.
    • Enabling the easier use of electric vehicles also has wide-ranging benefits for air quality and air pollutant emission reductions. While this positively impacts climate change effects, it also impacts public health through the reduction of harmful emissions in congested city zones.
    • Ulahannan, A. and Birrell, S., 2022. Designing better public transport: understanding mode choice preferences following the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustainability, 14(10), p.5952.
    • Ulahannan, A., Knight, M., Doel, R. and Birrell, S., 2021, July. Look, No Cables! An Interview Study into Guiding the Practical Implementation of Wireless Chargers for Electric Taxis. In International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (pp. 269-276). Springer, Cham.
    • Oliveira, L., Ulahannan, A., Knight, M. and Birrell, S., 2020. Wireless Charging of Electric Taxis: Understanding the Facilitators and Barriers to Its Introduction. Sustainability, 12(21), p.8798.
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