The eTaxi Austria project for testing automated conductive charging technology for electric taxis directly at taxi ranks is becoming concrete: Before the pilot operation starts, a project location has now been realised at the Wien Energie site at the Simmering power plant in order to implement various application scenarios in practice.
There, electric cars of the Hyundai (Ioniq 5) and VW (ID.4) brands are automatically charged with the Matrix Charging solution from Easelink. As reported, this is a conductive system: unlike inductive charging, there is a physical connection between the charging pad on the ground and the connector on the vehicle floor – if the car is parked above such a charging pad, the connector lowers and thus establishes the conductive connection.
According to the press release, the project location at the Simmering power station resembles a real taxi stand: three charging pads of the system were flush-mounted in the roadway in parking spaces arranged one behind the other. Charging takes place there with 11 kW and a transmission efficiency of 99 per cent. The charging plates are also connected to a load management system from Wien Energie so that the required charging power at the taxi stand can be controlled.
From the demonstration site, those responsible expect not only further insights into the matrix charging system in general, but also “eTaxi-specific insights into automated charging and different load management scenarios”.
“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. An important step in making eTaxis more practical,” says Leopold Kautzner, Chairman of the Transport Industry Group with Passenger Cars of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce.
Michael Strebl, Chairman of the Wien Energie Management Board, highlights the charging management: “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.” In order for e-mobility to be successful in all areas, it needs suitable charging solutions for the respective use cases.
The project will run until 2024 – in that year, the first series products of the retrofittable variant of Matrix Charging should also be available. The 11 kW charging capacity from the pilot project will still increase, the target is 22 kW for AC charging and 50 kW (at 400 volts) or 100 kW (at 800 volts) for DC charging.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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