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Old truck engines and gravel power sustainable EV charger

e-Tanker energy store

A new type of energy storage system than can power an electric vehicle (EV) charger has been developed using old truck engines and gravel.

The e-Tanker was developed by Cheesecake Energy with funding from National Highways.

It works by storing energy in the form of heat and compressed air, which is generated using power from the grid or solar panels.

When the charger needs to be used, the compressed air and heat is used to drive the truck engines, which in turn power a generator.

Explainer Video from Cheesecake Energy Ltd on Vimeo.

Cheesecake Energy says its battery system has the potential to be the greenest in the world and will be able to speed up electric car charging while protecting the grid from overload. It is expected that the system will achieve costs that are 30% to 40% lower than the cheapest battery currently available.

The company was one of 13 successful entrants in an innovation competition run by National Highways and Innovate UK. 

Annette Pass, head of innovation at National Highways, said: “Cheesecake’s project is an excellent example of the changes that are being made to reduce carbon in the transport industry. It also plays a part in National Highway’s net zero carbon plan, which will see a rapid cut in carbon from road construction, maintenance and operations, and supports the transition to zero emission vehicles.   

“Currently, 95% of the strategic road network is within 20 miles of a charge point, but they only cater for a small number of electric vehicles, and as those numbers increase it’s very important that we can cater for that, particularly on remote parts of our network. Innovations like this one will help us achieve that.” 

The project is progressing to the next stage of development, with work continuing on its prototype system that will soon be installed with a Nottingham-based depot for the charging of a fleet of electric vehicles.

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