Norway to Test Wireless EV Charging Next Year

Most developed governments plan on phasing out internal combustion-engine vehicles over the next decade. However, one major factor stands in the way of widespread electric vehicle (“EV”) adoption: charging. While conventional vehicles have a widespread system of gas refilling stations, EV users have to use a spotty and often unreliable charging system. This, coupled with the fear of running out of charge in the middle of nowhere, has kept people from making the switch to electric vehicles.

To remove this barrier, Norway is looking to introduce a charging system that would completely change how electric vehicles are charged. From next year, 25 electric taxis in Oslo will be fitted with under-vehicle technology that will recharge wirelessly using charging pads embedded on a taxi rank. Part of a trial that authorities hope will be rolled out across the country as part of the efforts to ensure all Norwegians drive electric cars, the technology will be fitted to a test fleet of Jaguar I-Pace cars.

“The taxi industry is the ideal test bed for wireless charging and indeed for high-mileage electric mobility across the board. The inherently safe, energy efficient and high powered wireless charging platform will prove critical for electric fleets, as the infrastructure is more effective than refueling a conventional vehicle,” says Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth. Wireless charging is one of the options considered by automakers to simplify EV charging. According to experts, short-cut technologies like wireless charging may even encourage more consumers to switch to electric vehicles.

Using taxis was a strategic decision. Like bus fleets, taxis usually have dependable routes and waiting places, making them a suitable option for test driving the new charging technology. “Before you get to electric cars there are an awful lot of vehicles such as buses and taxis and vans and others that have to go electric. There’s no feasible way to put electricity into the batteries of those vehicles easily,” explains Andrew Daga, chief executive of Momentun Dynamincs, which provides the charging system for the trial in Oslo.

As the taxis and buses wait in taxi ranks and bus stations, they can be charging their batteries. This will allow the vehicles to recharge their batteries in small amounts and at different times throughout the day instead of having to charge the entire fleet every night. “It makes sense to have a reliable system and fewer chargers with a higher utilization rate, rather than concentrate it in fewer depots each using a skyscraper’s worth of electricity.”

Experts say environmentally conscious companies like Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) would gladly team up with firms looking for ways to make EV charging hassle-free.

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