I founded Sprint Power in late 2018 after working for a number of key engineering businesses within the UK’s low carbon vehicle sector. I’ve always been passionate about electric vehicles, and I could see early on the benefits electric propulsion could bring; zero tailpipe emissions, strong acceleration, instant torque and impressive mechanical refinement.
I knew there was huge demand within the industry for a one-stop shop that could offer clients a complete range of high-performance, reliable and innovative technologies suitable for all forms of low carbon mobility. I’ve been greatly inspired by the high-tech start-ups that originated from Silicon Valley and see Sprint Power as an engineering and tech playground, where my team are inspired to drive innovations that take the lead in today’s electric revolution.
Since 2018, we’ve developed our own suite of proprietary technologies, catering for clients developing vehicles and technologies for land, air and sea, including global automotive manufacturers, local authorities, motorsports, mass transportation providers and defence organisations.
Our capabilities include the development of bespoke battery systems, electrical vehicle architecture design and engineering, powertrain integration and simulation, plus high and low voltage systems development and manufacture. We also develop power electronics and control systems, and design and manufacture the latest innovations in battery packs and power modules.
In order to carry out this work and meet client requirements, we’ve recently invested heavily in upgrading our state-of-the-art headquarters located in Birmingham Business Park. Recent additions include an electronics lab with advanced testing equipment including climatic chambers, dynamic power supplies and dynamic load banks, while a lab car rig was designed and built in-house, helping our engineers to rapidly prototype and validate electrical systems and circuits.
Many of our highly experienced engineers have held senior positions within some of the world’s most respected automotive and technology companies. Currently, we employ over sixty engineers who are working predominantly on EV-related development projects. I’m aiming to boost our world-class engineering team this year by 50%.
It’s clear we are in the midst of an electric revolution, as governments around the world implement strategies and policies that aim to encourage us out of polluting ICE vehicles and into far cleaner EVs. Many individuals and businesses are passionate about making this switch well in advance of our own government’s ban of the sale of new ICE vehicles in 2030.
While this is extremely encouraging, there remains practical considerations that are preventing many from doing so. While individuals are often concerned about ‘range anxiety’ and issues surrounding infrastructure, many businesses that run vehicle fleets are finding it difficult to charge effectively between journeys.
Take security, estate and pool car fleets as an example. Many of these fleets have low downtime and high usage, where drivers have just a short window to recharge the vehicle battery. With a wired connection, this relies on the user having to plug and unplug the vehicle many times a day. This is seen as one of the biggest barriers to transitioning these types of fleets to electric mobility.
I’m therefore delighted that Sprint Power is leading on Project AMiCC (AMiCable Charging) that aims to demonstrate the suitability of wireless charging technology for fleet vehicles. By utilising advanced wireless charging technology, fleet users will benefit from improved cable-free usability, plus easier access to charging when vehicle downtime is short and frequent recharging is required.
We’ve been busy ramping up development of a series of advanced wireless charging modules ahead of the trial taking place on the streets of Leeds, Nottingham and Warwick later this year. Our engineers have been focusing on developing an electrical distribution system (EDS), a power distribution module (PDM), and a high voltage harness assembly that will enable these fleets to charge wirelessly via pads attached to the ground. The system will automatically recognise which power source to draw current from, with each vehicle featuring both wireless and plug-in charging capability. A display screen inside the cabin of each vehicle will indicate to the user the status of each charge.
By working alongside other distinguished institutions including the University of Warwick, the University of Nottingham, Loughborough University, Leeds City Council and MyEVS on upcoming trials, we can jointly prove the suitability of this tech to the UK Government and wider business and industry. I look forward to seeing our tech on the roads and hope it will lead to a further roll-out as we look towards a new era of electric mobility.
Blog by Richie Frost, Founder and CEO at Sprint Power
Project AMiCC is supported by Innovate UK and funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) as part of the On-Street, Wireless, and Catalysing Green Innovation Programme. With this initiative, OZEV has invested £50m in transformative R&D that puts the UK at the forefront of zero emission transport to help deliver on the UK’s decarbonisation goals and to anchor economic growth.