Automated Charging of Electric Shuttles Takes Off at Graz Airport

The innovative shuttle system “GRZ Shuttle” is launching at Graz Airport on May 16 as part of the lighthouse project “move2zero”. The vehicle, a Mercedes e-Vito, will charge up using Matrix Charging®. Over a test period of six months, the emission-free shuttle will move passengers between the public transport stations (bus and rail) and the airport as needed and at no expense.
Automated Charging of Electric Shuttles Takes Off at Graz Airport
Courtesy of Easelink

To come a step closer to the goal of a completely emission-free bus fleet, Holding Graz joined with project coordinator Grazer Energieagentur and 12 other partners from research and industry to launch the project “move2zero” in 2019.

The aim is to replace the municipal bus fleet of Holding Graz with climate-friendly alternatives such as battery-electric and fuel cell buses. In parallel with these efforts, the range of on-demand services within the public transportation system will be expanded and improved.

At least until mid-October 2022, the new GRZ Shuttle at Graz Airport will be bringing passengers to the airport and back, as needed and at no charge. 

“The new airport shuttle is a very exciting and also practical innovation,” explains Jürgen Löschnig, CEO of Graz Airport. “For one thing, because the environmentally friendly and forward-looking drive technology fits perfectly with our efforts to lower CO2 emissions. Plus, it is an entirely new service for our passengers arriving by train.”

GRZ Shuttle charges automatically with Matrix Charging®

A nine-seat Mercedes e-Vito will serve the Graz Airport as a battery-electric shuttle running on green energy. The Mercedes e-Vito will be charged by the automated conductive system Matrix Charging®.

As soon as the shuttle parks at the airport arrival hall, the Matrix Charging® Connector descends automatically from the bottom of the vehicle and connects to the charging plate in the parking space. The resulting conductive connection transmits 11 kW of AC power. In other words, the driver can comfortably remain in the vehicle rather than getting out to plug in a cable.

“We are pleased that our rapidly growing high-tech company has this opportunity to collaborate with Holding Graz and demonstrate what Matrix Charging® technology can achieve in various real-life conditions. An electric shuttle service in a passenger traffic zone especially highlights the need for cable-free and barrier-free charging. In the future, an automated charging connection will be a basic function for autonomous passenger transport,” says Hermann Stockinger, founder and CEO of Easelink.

Alongside the new Matrix Charging® technology, this project is also investigating research questions involving the autonomous operation of on-demand shuttles as well as the demand for and acceptance of on-demand services.


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