Move over Prius: Jaguar’s taxi is pure-EV and doesn't need a plug
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The dream of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) is wireless charging: not having to bother plugging in because the car charges inductively when it’s positioned over a special plate. You know, just like your mobile phone.
The dream is about to become a reality in Oslo, where Jaguar has joined with the city in a programme called “ElectriCity”. Nordic taxi operator Cabonline, charge point provider Fortum Recharge and US technology developer Momentum Dynamics will build a high-powered wireless charging infrastructure for the I-Pace BEV.
It will be the first wireless charging system for taxis anywhere in the world. Posh taxis, mind: Jaguar is supplying 25 I-Pace models for the project, all modified to accept Momentum’s wireless charge technology.
Taxi drivers need a charging system that does not take them off route during working hours. So multiple charging plates rated at 50-75kW each are installed in the ground in series at pick-up and drop-off points.
The system uses no cables and is situated below ground. It requires no physical connection between charger and vehicle, engages automatically and provides on average 6-8 minutes of energy per each charge up to 50kW.
The taxi gets multiple charges throughout the day on its return to the rank, maintaining a high battery state of charge and the ability to remain in 24/7 service without driving range restrictions.
“The taxi industry is the ideal test bed for wireless charging, and indeed for high-mileage electric mobility across the board,” says Jaguar chief executive Prof Sir Ralf Speth.
Oslo wants to make its taxi system emission free as early as 2024. Norway wants to go even further and is mandating that all new cars sold in the country by 2025 are zero emission.