The Norwegian capital Oslo is set to become the first to use wireless charging on its electric taxi fleet using charging pads built into road.
Wireless charging for electric taxis has long been seen as the next step forward, just as important as the search for longer range batteries.
A trial in the UK is set to start soon at London’s St Pancras Station taxi rank which will charge electric cabs while waiting for passengers in the taxi rank outside.
Wireless charge points in key areas like taxi ranks would remove the need for extra road space to be made available for the taxi fleets and add convinience to charging removing down time. Finnish utility Fortum said that the Olso project will utilise induction technology, with charging plates installed in the road at taxi ranks linking to receivers installed in the vehicle. This allows for charging up to 75 kilowatts.
Fortum Charge & Drive has long been working with the taxi industry to enable electrification of the taxi fleet. The greatest hurdle has proved to be the infrastructure: It is too time consuming for taxi drivers to find a charger, plug in and then wait for the car to charge. The wireless fast-charging project aims to solve these issues and thereby reduce climate emissions from the taxi sector – not only in Norway, but in the entire world. "We will install the wireless chargers at taxi stands, such as the one at the Oslo Central Station. 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," says Annika Hoffner, Head of Fortum Charge & Drive. Sture Portvik, the City of Oslo's Electro Mobility Manager said: "The future is electric, and it is already here, right now. Wireless charging is a potential game changer. From 2023 onward, all taxis in Oslo will be zero emission. Together with the taxi industry we will make sure that the shift is as user friendly and efficient as possible. Oslo will always be at the front of innovation and we are delighted to join forces with two of the industry's most progressive players in this game-changing move to launch the world's most ambitious plan for wireless charging of a taxi fleet,"