The Austrian Energy and Climate Plan calls for the licensing of only emission-free taxis as of 2025. Much has been done in Austria during recent years to promote climate protection and a transition to emission-free mobility. As pioneers in this area, Vienna and Graz have recognized that the successful operation of electric taxis also requires charging infrastructure right at the taxi stand. This allows every minute at the taxi stand between trips to be used for charging the vehicle. Fear of insufficient range and time-consuming trips to far-off charging stations will then belong to the past.
The project eTaxi Austria is a lighthouse project that actively supports the electrification of taxi fleets via automated charging options at the taxi stand and attractive taxi packages. Before starting of the pilot operation with over 60 vehicles at a total of ten sites in Vienna and Graz, a project site was realized for practical testing of various scenarios.
This project site on the grounds of Wien Energie at the Simmering power plant is a recreation of an actual taxi stand. The parking and charging spots are situated in a line. Three Matrix Charging® Pads have been set flush into the pavement. The vehicle models used are the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the VW ID.4. Once a vehicle parks above one of the charging pads, the connector integrated into the vehicle lowers and the electric vehicle is charged automatically.
The Matrix Charging® Pads are connected to a load management system from Wien Energie, which maintains the required charging power at the taxi stand. The demonstration site will provide insights into automated charging and various load management scenarios that are specific to eTaxi applications.
"With the Matrix Charging® Pads embedded flush in the ground, there is a solution for uncomplicated and practical charging at the location. Instead of an extra trip to a charging station, the time at the taxi stand can be used for charging. An important step in making eTaxis more practical." Leopold Kautzner, chairman of the transport industry section of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce.
"For e-mobility to be successful in all areas, suitable charging solutions are needed for the respective use cases. With the new matrix charging technology, taxi drivers can charge directly at the taxi stand during their standing times and can thus continuously recharge their battery. Thanks to our intelligent load management, green electricity refueling at the taxi stand works in a way that is gentle on the grid and can also be implemented for larger e-taxi fleets," explains Michael Strebl, CEO of Wien Energie.
Making urban taxi fleets more climate-friendly requires cooperation between many different parties. With this vision in mind, a consortium has been formed by the Vienna and Styrian Chambers of Commerce, Wien Energie and Energie Graz, Easelink, the Graz Energy Agency, Taxi 40100 and Taxi 31300 as well as vibe moves you and Quintessenz Organisationsberatung under the leadership of tbw research.
In addition, numerous other cooperation partners have been involved from the start to enable the operation of eTaxis on the streets of Vienna and Graz and make this more convenient with automated, conductive charging right at the taxi stand. The ÖAMTC as well as Hyundai and Porsche Inter Auto are already supporting the planned pilot operation.
The project is being funded by the Climate and Energy Fund as part of the “Zero Emission Mobility Implementation” program. It will last until mid-2024 and should serve as the basis for further mobility transformations. The Graz Climate Protection Fund is additionally supporting the project implementation in Graz.