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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Doros Nicolaides

Wireless Electric Charge-on-the-move: An appraisal of the potential for the UK Transport Application

 

It  is  officially  stated  that,  carbon  dioxide  emissions  from  the  transport  sector  in  UK accounted one quarter of all carbon emissions in 2013. As a major source of air pollution, not only  does it undermine healthy environments but also deteriorates issues in relevance with climate  change. This coupled with the inevitable growth of population and vehicles the shifting towards a  more sustainable transport sector is imperative.

Different scenarios have been developed for enhancing mobility while eliminating severe  consequences of transportation and interestingly, all of them highlight the crucial role of electric cars as part of the solution. However, the successful penetration of electric cars is constrained by significant diachronic product barriers which comprise high purchase and maintenance cost due batteries, limited mileage range, and high recharging -time.

Wireless electric charge-on-the-move technology can reject the adverse characteristics of electric cars and facilitate their dominance on the roads of UK. It is about an idea whereby wireless power chargers will be installed along the transport grid of UK with the purpose to provide energy to moving electric cars. The owners will not worry about the mileage range since their cars will be charged dynamically but more importantly, batteries with considerably lower capacity can be exploited instead of the bulky, heavy and expensive ones used for current applications. This means
that not only will the cars’ performance be improved significantly due to lower weight and smaller volume but also the cost will be reduced dramatically. Consequently, wireless electric charge-on-the-move technology will establish the consumer preference for electric cars over combustion engine vehicles and drive the shifting towards a more efficient and lower-carbon transport sector in the future.

To this end, the primary objective of the project is to determine whether charge -on-the- move idea is technically feasible and based on a suitable enginee ring sustainable context. An extensive examination has been conducted to identify all the technical elements and necessary prerequisites for introducing wireless chargers and simultaneously, economic, social and environmental concerns were addressed to assess the sustainability agenda of the proposal. The critical review of the associated technology portfolio combined with the analysis  of  government  statistical  data,  emerged  a  novel  argument  on  the  field  of sustainable  transportation. By  synthesising previously unrelated  facts  and enriching our comprehension through personal interviews we have developed potential scheme solutions which
compose the baseline of further research.

The adequate development of the existing technology at the level of individual wir eless chargers makes the scalability of the expertise available at the national magnitude of UK. Safe, easy to use, and approachable for everyone this technology should be at the forefront of  sustainability  actions  without  undermining  human  well -being  and  implying  social considerations. Carbon emission reductions around 94% and 80% could be observed due to single car and total car fleet usage respectively and the economic appraisal of the proposal has revealed a great potential for
the UK transport application. Indeed, the estimated expenditure required for introducing dynamic charging on the roads of UK based on the basic scenario ranges from £2m to £3m per mile according to type of road and power
distribution design.