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Clean Transport

Zenobē Opens New Independent Innovation Centre To Help Fleets Test EV Charging Solutions

EV awareness programs are critical in the quest to accelerate the transition to electric mobility. Programs aimed at educating and equipping fleet operators, such as bus operators, with the right knowledge and capabilities to manage their fleet of vehicles, including the management of local charging infrastructure at their depots as well as optimizing EV charging for their fleet, are essential for one of the key transport segments to get on a seamless path to electrification.

Electric vehicle fleet and battery storage specialist Zenobē, recently launched an independent Innovation Centre to accelerate fleet electrification. The new Innovation Centre in Railway Triangle Industrial Estate, Portsmouth, will be used to will break down barriers for fleet operators before they begin their transition to electric vehicles. Fleet operators will get to test charging solutions giving them the comfort to make the transition from an informed position.

Zenobē will test the latest EV charging solutions within a technology-agnostic setting to identify the most cost effective and optimal charging solutions for fleet operators, as well as driving innovation in the electric transport sector. The Centre can simulate the intricacies of depot charging with the ability to charge multiple buses and electric cars at one time while connected to a Powerskid. A Powerskid is a 100kW battery storage asset made from second-life batteries. The Zenobē Powerskid is another example of how electric mobility supports the circular economy.

Zenobē refurbishes batteries that were once in an electric bus, for example, to create Powerskids. Powerskids are then used as temporary power sources which run as a cleaner alternative to backup diesel generators. One Powerskid can store approximately 130kwh of energy and based on an average charge session of 20kwh, Powerskids can charge about 5 cars. They are also good for applications such as powering festivals, film shoots, and construction sites. This application of second life batteries has the potential to grow in to a big industry around the world.

At the Innovation Centre in Portsmouth, the Powerskid will enable Zenobē to assess how innovations such as V2G charging and grid enhancement services to support the additional power required for EV charging can be scaled up and implemented for the fleet operator. The Innovation Centre will also trial and interface different models of charger and electric vehicles to provide valuable insight into the relationship between the charger and vehicle. Zenobē has also integrated its award-winning fleet charging software into the testing, considering real-world, site-specific challenges such as grid limitations and battery degradation, and how these can be managed.

By investigating and testing the software and charging infrastructure within the Innovation Centre environment, Zenobē will further expand its extensive fleet electrification capabilities and knowledge base. It will use this to work with fleet operators to make better informed decisions when tendering for electric vehicles, chargers and supporting infrastructure.

“The Innovation Centre is an evolution of our service offering and will ensure we give even better service to our customers in two ways – by testing components, chargers and other equipment continuously and by enabling us to commission and integrate equipment before anything arrives on site ensuring a smooth customer experience during this important but sometimes overwhelming transition to zero emission fleets,” said Steven Meersman, Founder Director at Zenobē.

Speaking at the launch, Penny Mordaunt MP for Portsmouth North also welcomed the latest addition to Portsmouth’s growing expertise in enabling clean energy technologies: “Zenobe’s new Innovation Centre facility and its commitment to continuously testing and researching new technology that supports the sustainable transition of the UK’s bus, truck and van fleets to electric will ensure that we meet our ambitious commitment to our net zero goals.”

The center is now open for operators interested in electrifying their fleet to book in a visit to see the real time benefits of integrating smart charging technology into their fleet. Fleet operators will also get the opportunity to meet with Zenobe’s fleet experts and discuss how they can take the first step towards fleet electrification and achieving zero carbon and clean air targets.

Images courtesy of Zenobē

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