Coventry could get road which powers electric cars
Coventry could get the country’s first road that will power electric cars as they drive around the city.
Coventry City Council is looking to trial the new ‘e-lanes’ on an as-yet unspecified road in the north-east of the city.
It would work by installing segmented magnetic coils on the road so electric vehicles retrofitted with a receiver would be able to charge whilst on the move.
The project is being led by the city council in partnership with Coventry University and global engineering company WSP.
And although the council say they’d like the e-lane trial on a road which suffers from pollution or congestion, they say it is not part of the authorities wider Air Quality Action Plan to avoid a Clean Air Zone imposed by the government.
It is hoped the initiative will revolutionise transport across the country.
Shamala Evans, the senior project manager who is leading the million-pound-plus bid, said it would help Coventry drive the use of electric vehicles – dubbed the transport of the future.
“It is really exciting,” she said. “The manufacturing industry has made a choice to back electric vehicles, now we need to look at the best way to look at the battery element and charging element.
“It is not a new concept, but it has not been done in the UK yet.
“It is the way forward. This is a cutting edge technology.”
How much will it cost?
The council, who is leading the project alongside partners Coventry University and global engineering company WSP, bid for funding from Highways England on May 8 this year.
The two-phase bid included a £75,000 pot for a feasibility study, and a second bid of “up to £1 million” to put the trial into place.
The project was shortlisted and although the council was told on July 12 the bid was unsuccessful, Ms Evans said they will return with further bids.
“There are many funding streams going around,” she added.
“We just need to identify a funding stream which this project aligns to.
“The feedback on the evaluation from Highways England was very promising, so we will absolutely go back for another funding bid.
“I strongly believe this is the way forward. As far as the concept goes it is all there, we just need the funding.”
No date has yet been set as to when it could launch, she added, and discussions have yet to be had on where the e-lane would be trialled.
However, it will be focused on a road with existing pollution problems.
She added: “At the end of the day it is to address climate change and emissions, so we would look at a road that already has an air quality issue or a congestion issue.”