The eTaxi Austria project to test automated conductive charging technology for e-taxi directly at taxi ranks becomes concrete: before the start of the pilot operation, the project location was implemented at the Wien Energie site at the Simmering power plant to implement various application scenarios in practice.
There, Hyundai (Ioniq 5) and VW (ID.4) electric vehicles are automatically charged using the Easelink Matrix Charging solution. This is reportedly a conductive system: unlike inductive charging, there is a physical connection between the charging pad on the floor and the connector on the floor of the vehicle - if the car is parked above such a charging pad, the connector drops down and stands on the pad, so a conductive connection is made.
According to the announcement, the project site at the Simmering power plant resembles a real taxi rank: the system's three charging plates have been built into the roadway at parking spaces located one behind the other. Charging takes place there with a power of 11 kW and a transmission efficiency of 99 percent. The charging plates are also connected to Wien Energie's load management system so that the required charging power can be controlled at the taxi rank.
“With matrix charging plates built into the floor, there is a solution for simple and practical on-site charging. Instead of an extra trip to the charging station, time in a taxi rank can be used for charging. An important step towards making eTaxis more practical,” says Leopold Kautzner.
Michael Strebl, CEO of Wien-Energie, emphasizes: “Thanks to our intelligent load management, green electricity refueling at a taxi rank is grid-friendly and can be implemented for larger electric taxi fleets, mobility is successful in all areas, so relevant applications require suitable charging solutions.
The project will last until 2024 - the first serial products of a modified version of Matrix Charging should appear in the same year. The 11 kW charging capacity of the pilot project will continue to grow, with a target of 22 kW for AC charging and 50 kW (at 400 volts) or 100 kW (at 800 volts) for DC charging.