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Oslo to Install Wireless Fast-Charging System for Taxis

April 3, 2019
All taxis in the Norwegian capital must be electrically powered by 2023. Automated wireless charging will pave the way.

As part of Norway’s goal that all new cars be zero emission by 2025, all taxis in the Norwegian capital of Oslo must be electrically powered by 2023. One big hurdle standing in the way involves revamping the country’s infrastructure to handle the influx of EV taxis. It’s too time-consuming, for example, for taxi drivers to find a charger, plug in, and then wait for the car to charge. But a new wireless fast-charging project aims to solve this issue and in doing so, reduce climate emissions from the taxi sector.

Automated wireless charging is an alternative to plug-in charging and will provide the primary means of charging the batteries of these taxis. An inductive charging system will be installed in the road at Oslo’s taxi stands, linking to receivers in the vehicle. As a result, all taxi drivers need to do is park over a charging station and receive up to 75 kW before driving off to somewhere else. Finnish utility Fortum, in conjunction with Momentum Dynamics (Malverne, Pa., USA), have been selected to set up the wireless fast-charging infrastructure.

Momentum Dynamics’ Momentum Charger enables all classes of electric vehicles to be charged without supervision and under all weather conditions. In the U.S., the company has implemented inductive charging systems for electric buses with up to 200 kW charging power.

"We believe this project will provide the world with the model it needs for keeping electric taxis in continuous 24/7 operation,” says Momentum Dynamics CEO Andrew Daga. “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.”

Fortum Charge & Drive

At the end of last year, Fortum Charge & Drive opened its first high-power charger in Finland. The 150-kW station is located at a gas station 20 minutes south of Oslo, on the motorway leading to Stockholm. It was set up in partnership with Reitan Convenience stores and is part of the Nordic ultra-fast charging corridor between Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki. The new installation in Norway has up to seven times the charging capacity as regular high-power chargers—350- kW—compared to the more common 50 kW.

At the new charging station, EV taxis will be able to drive up to the charger and a wireless charging session will automatically start. (Source: Fortum)

At the new taxi charging station “taxis will be able to drive up to the charger and a wireless charging session will automatically start,” says Annika Hoffner, Head of Fortum Charge & Drive. “This allows the taxis to charge in a place where they would 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.”

Fortum also is using a hydrometallurgical recovery process developed by Finnish startup Crisolteq. It will enable the recovery of cobalt, manganese, nickel, and lithium from EV batteries, which are then delivered to battery manufacturers to be reused in producing new batteries. Fortum says it has achieved a recycling rate of over 80% via the low-CO2 hydrometallurgical recycling process. In operation, the company first makes batteries safe for mechanical treatment, with plastics, aluminum, and copper separated and directed to their own recycling processes.

The chemical and mineral components of the battery form a “black mass” that typically consists of a mixture of lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel in different ratios. Of these, nickel—and especially cobalt—are the most valuable and most difficult to recover.  Crisolteq has a hydrometallurgical recycling facility in Harjavalta, Finland, that’s already able to operate on an industrial scale.

With a population of just 5 million people, Norway had 46,143 new passenger car registrations for battery electric vehicles in 2018, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. That makes it the biggest market in Europe, ahead of Germany with 36,216 and France with 31,095.

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