The EnergiCity project has started the test phase for the contactless charging of electric cabs. In the Norwegian capital Oslo, 25 Jaguar I-Pace will in future be inductively charged in taxi use. The charging capacity is to exceed far that of standard AC charging.
The programme was announced in 2019 and takes place in Oslo, in Norway. With involvement from the US company Momentum Dynamics, the charging point operator Fortum Recharge and the taxi company NorgesTaxi, wireless charging plates will be installed at several taxi stands in Oslo so that the Jaguar taxis used there can charge while waiting for customers without having to plug in.
Because the ElectriCity project involves the installation of several pallets in the ground, taxis should be able to charge while waiting at the taxi stand, according to a statement from Jaguar. The inductive charging technology is from Momentum Dynamics, and the 25 I-Pace were retrofitted accordingly.
The pallets are to be upgraded to outputs of 50 to 75 kW. With a standing time of six to eight minutes and an average charging capacity of 50 kW, between 5 and 6.5 kWh are already being recharged – which is sufficient for short taxi rides within the city centre. With every return to the taxi stand, some electricity is renewed. Jaguar says that the I-Pace used can thus “run in 24/7 service without long downtimes”. If the inductive recharging is not sufficient for a more extended tour, the 2021 vehicles can be charged with up to 11 kW on AC and 100 kW on DC pillars.
Neither Jaguar nor Momentum Dynamics has provided more precise details about the technology used, such as data concerning transmission efficiency, power dissipation or the size of the air gap. A simple infographic simply states that the system should be designed for “all weather conditions” including snow.
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Judging by the fact that the project has been announced directly by JLR boss Ralf Speth, rather than a country or project matter, one may conclude that the project seems to be very important to Jaguar. “The taxi industry is the ideal testbed for wireless charging, and indeed for high-mileage electric mobility across the board,” says Speth. “The inherently safe, energy-efficient and high-powered wireless charging platform will prove critical for electric fleets, as the infrastructure is more effective than refuelling a conventional vehicle.”
According to Jaguar, the impetus for the project came from Fortum Recharge. The CPO recognised the need for more efficient and faster charging for taxi drivers in Oslo. As a result, engineers and technicians from Jaguar and the “dream partner” Momentum Dynamics tested the system’s functionality before TaxiNorges was brought on board to operate the taxis.
The US company Momentum Dynamics is currently working on another inductive charging project: Momentum is also supplying the wireless charging systems for ten BYD electric buses in Wenatchee, Washington. The order from the operator Link Transit includes ten chargers with 300 kW charging capacity each.
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