The Austrian cities of Vienna and Graz are gradually shifting to eTaxis. Starting in 2025, only emission-free taxis will be permitted in the country. A new project in the two cities will test a system that allows automated charging at taxi stands.
The eTaxi Austria project will retrofit a total of 10 taxi stands and 66 vehicles with Easelink’s Matrix Charging automated conductive charging technology over the next two years. Vehicles are equipped with a connector on the underbody, which connects to a charging plate at the taxi stand with the push of a button, and charges the taxi automatically, without the driver having to leave the vehicle.
Easelink says its Matrix Charging system eliminates bulky charging stations and cables, allowing charging infrastructure to be rolled out in dense city centers without requiring additional space. It adds to the comfort of drivers and customers, as vehicles can be heated or cooled at the taxi stand without reducing range. Another advantage: taxis can easily move up in the queue at the taxi stand without having to unplug/replug a cable.
The two EV models being used in the project support charging at 11 kW AC. Matrix Charging will subsequently support up to 22 kW AC and 100 kW DC at 800 volts.
“As an automobile manufacturer-independent technology, Matrix Charging can already be retrofitted into most of the electric vehicles available on the market today,” says Hermann Stockinger, founder and CEO of Easelink. “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.”
“For the electrification of taxi fleets, the automation of charging at the stand is crucial,” says Paul Gredler Oxenbauer, Group Manager of Charging Solutions for Wien Energie, an electric utility that operates 1,900 charging stations in Austria. “This can only be achieved with a robust charging technology that can be integrated flush and thus barrier-free into the roads. 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.”