Norway is taking one step further to a 100 per cent electric transport future, declaring that by 2023 all taxis in the capital, Oslo, will be electric.
With the inherently high demands of charging a fleet of taxis, the city of Oslo will also install inductive charging systems that allow its taxi fleets to charge quickly and efficiently enough to ensure the transition to electric is successful.
The technology, which will allow taxis to recharge wirelessly, will be installed at taxi ranks under the road, said Scandinavian utility giant Fortum.
Taxis will be modified using an inductive receiver, allowing for a 75kW charging rate, a higher speed than some DC fast chargers.
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,” said Annika Hoffner, head of Fortum Charge & Drive.
In a country where electric and plug-in hybrid models already account for more than half of all new car registrations, Oslo – now considered the “green capital of Europe” – the move by the City of Oslo and Fortum is an important step in achieving the country’s goal to have 100% electric vehicles by 2025.
“Wireless charging is a potential game changer,” said Sture Portvik, the City of Oslo’s electromobility manager, in a note.
“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.”
The wireless charging technology will be provided by Momentum Dynamics, which has already introduced high-power (200 kW) induction charging systems in the United States for electric buses and will adapt its technology to passenger cars.
In Oslo, the stations will be progressively deployed on the ground in strategic locations, including queues at the airport and railway stations. Equipped with an induction plate installed in retrofit on standard models, taxi drivers can refuel without getting out of their vehicles.
“We believe this project will provide the world with the model it needs for keeping electric taxis in continuous 24/7 operation,” said Momentum Dynamics chief Andrew Daga in a statement.
“It will build on the success we have demonstrated with electric buses, which also need to be automatically charged throughout the day in order to stay in operation.”
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.