The UK's first wireless charging hub for light commercial vehicles will be installed in Edinburgh in early 2021.

City of Edinburgh Council, Heriot-Watt University and Flexible Power Systems (FPS) have been awarded £1.6m funding to investigate the benefits of wireless electric vehicle charging.

Wireless charging is a technology that allows electric vehicles to recharge while parked on charging pads instead of using cables that need to be manually plugged in by a driver.

The project aims to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles in commercial vehicle fleets by reducing the cost of charging the vans.

Scott Millar, fleet and workshops manager for The City of Edinburgh Council, said: 'We are already deploying electric vehicles across our fleet and we’re looking at ways we can drive adoption in the wider community. Providing charging infrastructure like shared hubs has the potential to play a key part of removing barriers to uptake for both the council and the community.

'We’re excited to take a leadership role here as a successful project in Edinburgh could present a model for other councils to use to reduce transport emissions in cities.'

Michael Ayres, FPS’ managing director, added: 'High power rapid chargers can be expensive both in terms of the chargers themselves and the electricity network infrastructure required to support them. Sharing the cost of the charger and the connection through a shared charging hub can mitigate a portion of these costs.

'The project is testing sharing of the charging hubs between logistics, retailer, local government, and university owned commercial vehicles.'

Photo: Heriot-Watt University