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ETAXI AUSTRIA: New wireless taxi charging network launches as industry gears up shifting to electric

Image credit: Stadt Graz/Fischer

A new wireless electric taxi charging network in Vienna and Graz has been launched as the shift to electric scales up in Austria.

In a bid to lower emissions and further improve quality of life in the city, Vienna and Graz will be increasingly shifting to eTaxis. However, for economical operation of the electric taxis, interruptions for trips to distant next charging station must be avoided, which is why the focus is on automated charging directly at the taxi stands.

The “eTaxi Austria” project will inlclude a total of 10 taxi stands and 66 taxi vehicles retrofitted with Matrix Charging®, the automated conductive charging technology developed by Easelink, over the next two years.

Instead of plugging an electric car into the charging point with a cable, these vehicles equipped with a connector on the underbody can be connected to a charging plate at the taxi rank with the push of a button. The taxis are automatically charged, without the driver even having to leave the vehicle.

eTaxi Austria is the largest eTaxi project to date for automated charging directly at the taxi stands and the first to one with the application of an highly efficient conductive charging technology in eTaxi operations.

The two vehicle types being used in the project support charging at 11 kW AC, which is being implemented as part of the eTaxi Austria project. Matrix Charging® will subsequently support up to 22 kW AC and 100 kW DC at 800 volts.

Hermann Stockinger, founder and CEO of Easelink, said: “As an automobile manufacturer independent technology, Matrix Charging® can already be retrofitted into most of the electric vehicles available on the market today.

“The charging pads installed at the parking space are robust and maintenance-free and can be installed in both in public spaces and private garages."

Image credit: Stadt Graz/Fischer

Starting in 2025, only taxis with zero emission drive systems will be permitted in Austria. The eTaxi Austria project intends to set the tone for this change and help prepare the rollout of automated charging infrastructure to the taxi industry.

Paul Gredler Oxenbauer, Group Manager Charging Solutions Wien Energie GmbH, said: “For the electrification of taxi fleets, the automation of charging at the stand is crucial. This can only be achieved with a robust charging technology that can be integrated flush and thus barrier-free into the roads.

Image credit: Stadt Graz/Fischer

“Matrix Charging® meets these requirements and offers high efficiency through the conductive connection. Due to the decentralized design of the charging infrastructure and a high connection time of the vehicles with the charging points, a grid-serving integration into the urban power grid can be achieved."

Siegfried Nagl, Mayor of Graz, said: "With the eTaxi 2.0* project, we are making Graz fit for the future and launching an international lighthouse project in urban transport. I am particularly pleased that Graz and Vienna, the two major cities in Austria, are pulling together for more environmentally friendly mobility!"

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