Oslo's electric taxis will soon be able to roll up for a wireless battery top up
When they're not ferrying folks around from A to B, taxis can be sitting around doing nothing. Electric taxis in Norway's capital will soon be able to wirelessly top up their batteries while waiting for their next fare.
The City of Oslo is working with Finnish clean energy company Fortum – which was behind last year's Singalong Shuttle – and wireless charging tech firm Momentum Dynamics from the US to roll out wireless fast charging for the city's electric taxis.
Reported to be the first wireless fast charging infrastructure for taxis in the world, the project will install charging plates in the ground at taxi stands. When a taxi that's had a receiver installed rolls over a plate, the vehicle's battery will automatically be topped up at a rate of up to 75 kW.
"We will install the wireless chargers at taxi stands, such as the one at the Oslo Central Station," said Fortum's Annika Hoffner. "Taxis will be able to drive up to the charger and a wireless charging session will automatically start. This allows the taxis to charge in a place where they would anyway be waiting for new customers. The difference is that they won't be emitting exhaust while waiting, instead they will be receiving renewable energy to charge the taxi's battery."
Though induction charging can be much less efficient than plugging into a fast charger, this project means that electric taxi drivers in Oslo will no longer need to waste time locating a free charging station, or potentially miss fares while waiting around for the vehicle's battery to juice up. The roll out should also help the city meet its target of having only zero emission taxis operating in Oslo by 2023.
"We believe this project will provide the world with the model it needs for keeping electric taxis in continuous 24/7 operation," commented Andrew Daga of Momentum Dynamics. "It will build on the success we have demonstrated with electric buses, which also need to be automatically charged throughout the day in order to stay in operation. Momentum is very excited to be working with the people of Oslo and with our partner Fortum."
Automakers are now being invited to become part of the project.