Wantage-Based Aircharge, which develops wireless charging for contract use, has linked up with commercial interiors supplier to the rail sector, Baker Bellfield, to launch the world’s first fully rail compliant inductive phone wireless charging system. On-train wireless charging will debut on South Western Railway’s (SWR) refurbished and reconfigured class 444 Siemens Desiro five-car EMUs on the London Waterloo – Southampton – Bournemouth – Weymouth route from this month. When the refurbishment programme is completed, all 172 of SWR Desiro class trains will have this new feature.
The Aircharge is integrated directly into tables in SWR’s first class carriages as a complimentary service offered to passengers, enabling them to top up their mobile phone by simply placing the device onto the charger without the need of a cable. Using the universal standard for wireless charging, Qi, the system is directly compatible with over 130 Qi certified smartphone models, including the latest Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models.
The Aircharge – Baker Bellfield wireless charging units are the first to be manufactured specifically for rolling stock, complying with all mandatory railway applications and standards.
“Wireless charging represents the future of charging mobile devices and the partnership with Aircharge will allow us to create a new standard for the railway rolling stock sector and beyond” said Robert Wilkin, Business Development Manager at Baker Bellfield.
The train installation is part of Aircharge’s growth plan to further extend its wireless charging ecosystem into public transport, alongside its already established presence in public venues.
Steve Liquorish, CEO and Founder of Aircharge, said: “We have already deployed our solution on buses and in a number of airports and train stations across the UK railway network, in Europe, US and Middle East.
“The expansion into trains consolidates our position as the leading provider for the transport sector.”
Aircharge already provides the most extensive wireless charging ecosystem deployed in public venues globally, including transport hubs, restaurant and fast food chains, cafes, hotels, retail shops and office installations.