Taxi drivers can recharge their cars while waiting for you in Oslo, according to a freshly accepted decision. The city announced the plan in March, according to a Reuters report. The chargers will be installed by Finnish utility Fortum which is working with U.S. firm Momentum Dynamics.
According to the announcement, the final aim of the implementation of such an innovative idea is to make the electric taxi sector more desirable. The future charging system includes built-in induction chargers under the road at taxi ranks and receiving devices in the car. While the driver is waiting for the next customer, the charging process automatically starts which makes the charging more efficient.
“Time equals money when taxi drivers are working,”
said Ole Gudbrann Hempel, head of Fortum’s public charging network in Norway. First, there is no need to save time for charging and on the other hand, the spare time of the waiting period becomes useful.
In Oslo, all taxi services should upgrade their whole fleet to electric vehicles till 2023. So finding new methods for the problems of inefficiency is urgent. Beside this regulation, Norway is planning to ban all non-electric new cars from the country till 2025. Britain and France have similar plans with a 2040 deadline. Since the trend of electrifying public transportation is spreading across the whole continent of Europe, the development of new methods becomes more and more important. In 2018, almost one-third of car buyers of the Nordic country chose an electric vehicle.
According to Reuters, Fortum sees the innovation important because
“the greatest hurdle for electrification of taxis had so far been the infrastructure, as it is too time-consuming for cabbies to find a charger, plug in, then wait for the car to charge.”
Induction charging can be used not only while taxi drivers are parking somewhere but also when they are moving slowly in long queues on taxi ranks.
However, it sounds amazing, the idea of charging taxis over the air is somewhat controversial. There are skeptic voices on the other side who remind, charging won't make sense until wireless chargers can be run down long stretches of highway to replace the need for fast chargers. Till that time, induction chargers work pretty much the same way like plug-in chargers, because they require cars to stop and generally, can only accommodate one car at a time.
In November, Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated a 120-kilowatt wireless charger that could add 90 miles to the range of an Oslo taxi during a 15-minute wait. With wireless chargers at all the taxi stands, drivers wouldn't need to charge up completely, but pick up a few additional miles every few runs.