Zenobe has opened an innovation centre in Portsmouth that it says will break down barriers for operators before they begin a transition to battery-electric power.
The UK-headquartered EV fleet and energy storage specialist welcomed Penny Mordaunt MP (pictured, right) on 27 January to open the centre. There the supplier will test the latest charging solutions within what it describes as “a technology agnostic setting” to identify the most cost-effective and optimal examples for fleet operators, “as well as driving innovation in the electric transport sector.”
Depot charging can be simulated at the centre, with the ability to charge multiple buses at once while connected to what Zenobe calls a Powerskid, which is a 100kW energy storage asset made from second-life batteries.
The Powerskid will allow assessment of how innovations such as vehicle-to-grid transfer and grid enhancement services to support the additional power required for electric vehicle charging can be scaled up and implemented for fleet operators. The innovation centre will also trial and interface different chargers and battery-electric vehicles to provide “valuable insight” into the relationship between them.
Zenobe has integrated its fleet charging software into the testing process. That will allow the supplier to take into account real-world, site-specific challenges such as grid limitations and battery degradation and how they can be managed.
Testing work by Zenobe at the innovation centre will enable it to “further expand its extensive fleet electrification capabilities and knowledge base.” Such work will then permit engagement with fleet operators to help them make appropriate decisions when tendering for vehicles, chargers and infrastructure, it says.
Zenobe already has a significant presence in supporting UK battery-electric bus fleets. Speaking about the opening, Zenobe Founder Director Steven Meersman (pictured, left) says: “The innovation centre is an evolution of our service offering.
“It will ensure that 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.”
Operators that are considering the electrification of their fleets have been invited to visit the innovation centre. Appointments can be made via email.