One of the provisions of Austria’s Energy and Climate Plan calls for all taxis to be emission-free by 2025, and this is driving innovation. Authorities in the cities of Vienna and Graz have found that the best option is to provide charging infrastructure directly at taxi stands. This allows every minute between trips to be used for charging the vehicle.
Electric utility Wien Energie and Austrian charging provider Easelink are working together on a pilot project called eTaxi Austria, which will test automated charging options installed at taxi stands.
On the grounds of the Simmering power plant, the companies created a mockup of an actual taxi stand, with three Easelink Matrix Charging Pads set flush into the pavement. The project is using the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the VW ID.4, each equipped with an integrated connector. When a vehicle parks above one of the charging pads, the connector lowers to establish a physical connection, and charging begins automatically. The charging pads are connected to a load management system designed by Wien Energie, which maintains the required charging power.
“The demonstration site will provide insights into automated charging and various load management scenarios that are specific to eTaxi applications,” says Easelink. The project will continue until mid-2024, and the next phase will involve over 60 vehicles at a total of 10 sites in Vienna and Graz.
“With the Matrix Charging Pads embedded flush in the ground, there is a solution for uncomplicated and practical charging at the location. Instead of an extra trip to a charging station, the time at the taxi stand can be used for charging,” said Leopold Kautzner of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce.
“For e-mobility to be successful in all areas, suitable charging solutions are needed for the respective use cases,” said Michael Strebl, CEO of Wien Energie. “With the new matrix charging technology, taxi drivers can charge directly at the taxi stand during their standing times and can thus continuously recharge their battery. Thanks to our intelligent load management, green electricity refueling at the taxi stand works in a way that is gentle on the grid and can also be implemented for larger e-taxi fleets.”