Voi Technology has partnered with WMG and Bumblebee Power to trial the use of wireless e-scooter charging at the University of Warwick campus over a six-month period.
As with the charging of electric cars, the charging of e-scooters is a challenge for the operators of extensive rental schemes. The batteries powering these zero-emissions e-scooters are often charged safely at their warehouse, where they are replaced when vehicles receive regular inspections, or by the company’s in-field team who visit each vehicle to perform battery swaps.
These processes can lead to high operating costs for all e-scooter businesses as they can be both time-consuming and resource-intensive by requiring additional warehouse infrastructure for safe battery charging as well as transportation costs needed to perform swaps across the operating town or city. Therefore, Voi began exploring new charging methodologies as a result that could provide the same excellent user experience whilst also delivering a similar vehicle efficient and effective battery performance. The potential solution: wireless charging.
In partnership with Bumblebee Power, Voi is trialing the use of wireless charging pads by retrofitting e-scooters with technology enabling the vehicles to be charged where they are parked. The University of Warwick campus ‘mini-city’ environment has been selected for this wireless trial as it provides an excellent ‘living lab’ environment to safely test this innovative transport technology. Available to estate staff only, the e-scooters will be regularly used across the busy university environment with thousands of staff and students, to help them perform their everyday duties.
The success of the trial could mean not only reducing operational costs but make their integration into the street and transport infrastructure more streamlined and helping the modal shift to a convenient and flexible mode of transport easier for new and existing riders. The trial will provide data on the wireless system performance as well as user behaviour and interaction with the technology, which is crucial to any future large-scale deployment. If the trial proves successful it could be expanded to cover more of the Voi fleet across the UK.