One of the challenges of urban charging is a simple lack of space on streets and sidewalks. Some see wireless charging as the solution, but the Austrian firm Easelink has developed a cable-free physical charging system.
“The competition between parking spaces and walkways as well as the lack of surfaces for installing cable-based charging systems make it difficult to expand the prevalence of these types of charging stations in urban areas,” says the company. “The installation of charging stations and the cables running between the stations and the vehicles also create barriers in public spaces.”
“The solution for comprehensive urban charging infrastructure in public spaces is a cable-free, automated conductive charging system installed within the parking space surface,” says Easelink founder and CEO Hermann Stockinger.
The company is now conducting real-world tests of its automated charging system in the Austrian city of Graz with a carsharing service called tim, which has over 2,100 users.
Easelink’s Matrix Charging system consists of two components: a connector in the vehicle underbody and a charging plate embedded flush in the parking space surface. Once an EV is parked, the connector lowers and connects with the charging plate, and the vehicle is automatically charged via the direct conductive physical connection. The system uses no charging pillars or charging cables, so there are no obstacles to the movement of strollers or wheelchairs, and no tripping hazard.
“The new technology should enable more reliable and efficient charging of the vehicles as part of our car-sharing service tim, both supporting the goal of barrier-free accessibility in public spaces and providing additional convenience to users of the Graz Holding electric car fleet,” explains City Counselor for Finance and Investments Günter Riegler.
“The feedback obtained from tim e-carsharing users will be particularly useful in the continued development of the charging technology,” says Hermann Stockinger. Easelink will also submit the data to working groups at various international standardization bodies of which the company is a member.