eTaxi Austria: Charging project starts with eight taxi stands and 50 electric taxis

Taxi companies based in Vienna can register for the pilot phase of the ‘eTaxi Austria’ project from 16 August. As part of the project, the cities of Vienna and Graz want to make automated conductive charging stops for electric taxis practical.

The pilot phase of the project is scheduled to start in October 2023. For this purpose, eight taxi stands in the Austrian capital and 50 electric taxis will initially be equipped with Easelink’s charging system. Taxi companies can express their interest in participating at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce between 16 August and 15 September 2023. The companies will probably be selected by the end of September. They can then purchase the already equipped vehicles at short notice or obtain them on a subscription basis, says the Vienna Chamber of Commerce.

The eTaxi Austria project uses the VW ID.4 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Both EVs are automatically charged with the Matrix Charging solution from Easelink during the project. As reported, this is a conductive system: unlike inductive charging, there is a physical connection between the charging pad on the floor 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.

The system has been tested at the Wien Energie site at the Simmering power station since last year. The goal is to implement various application scenarios in practice. Charging at the Simmering power plant takes place with 11 kW and a transmission efficiency of 99 per cent. The charging plates are also connected to a Wien Energie load management system so that the required charging power can be controlled at the taxi stand. However, the 11 kW charging power from the pilot project is to be increased. The target is 22 kW for AC charging and 50 kW (at 400 volts) or 100 kW (at 800 volts) for DC charging.

Companies participating in the eTaxi Austria programme receive a subsidy for the purchase costs or a reduced subscription rate. In addition, they benefit from an operating subsidy (per customer kilometre driven) and free electricity from Wien Energie when charging via the charging plates.

“With the Matrix Charging plates embedded in the floor, there is a solution for uncomplicated and practical charging at the location. Instead of making an extra trip to a charging station, the time spent at the taxi stand can be used for charging. This is an important step towards making electric taxis more practical,” said Leopold Kautzner, chairman of the transport industry section of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, in an earlier statement. (in German)


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