Taxis in Austria are going electric. Starting in 2025, only emission-free taxis will be allowed (unlike some countries currently in the news, Austria has shown no signs of reneging on this pledge).
Automated EV charging can greatly facilitate taxi electrification, as e-taxis can charge automatically while waiting at taxi stands. The eTaxi Austria project has been testing Matrix Charging technology, developed by the Austrian company Easelink. In Vienna, some 8 taxi stands and 56 vehicles are now equipped with the technology. In Graz, 2 stands and 10 vehicles are getting wired up.
Easelink’s Matrix Charging relies on a connector on the underbody of the EV, and a charging pad at the taxi stand. Drivers can initiate charging with the push of a button, without leaving the vehicle. Currently, Austria’s electric taxi drivers are using the system with the VW ID.4 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
Local utilities Wien Energie and Energie Graz installed and operate the charging systems, and will be supplying 100% green electricity for charging the electric taxis. The system delivers up to 11 kW of AC power, which is distributed among the vehicles based on demand, by means of an intelligent load management system.
Easelink’s latest generation of ground pads incorporates electronic switching components, so there’s no need for above-ground switch cabinets at the taxi stands. “The unobtrusive charging pads embedded in the ground pose no barriers to movement,” said Vienna City Councilor Peter Hanke.
“The eTaxi Austria project is the world’s largest e-mobility project focused on automated charging,” said Hermann Stockinger, founder and CEO of Easelink. “Together with over 30 partners, we are overcoming the central hurdle to barrier-free charging in the urban environment.”