A £3.4m investment in trials for wireless charging of electric taxis in Nottingham has been announced by the transport secretary.

Wireless charging at taxi ranks would provide an alternative to plugs and chargepoints, meaning multiple taxis can recharge at once, enabling drivers to charge up more easily.

The technology could also be rolled out more broadly for public use, allowing drivers of electric vehicles to charge more easily on the go.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Taxi drivers up and down the country are at the vanguard of the electric vehicle revolution, playing a leading role in reducing air pollution in our city centres where people live, shop and work.

“New wireless technology will make using an electric taxi quicker and more convenient, allowing drivers to charge up at taxi ranks before heading off with their next passenger.”

Andrea Leadsom, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy added: “Charging technology, including wireless, is vital in giving consumers confidence to make the switch from petrol to electric cars. This pioneering trial in Nottingham, and others like it, will help us take crucial steps towards lower emissions and cleaner air.”

Ten Nissan and LEVC electric taxis in Nottingham will be fitted with wireless charging hardware for six months to trial taxi rank-based charging. The project is a collaboration between organisations including Cenex, Sprint Power, Shell, Nottingham City Council, Parking Energy, Transport for London and Coventry University.

Nottingham City Council will own the vehicles and provide them to drivers rent free.