Recent statistics - and who doesn’t love statistics - have revealed that more than four-fifths of the British car-buying public would not consider buying an electric vehicle (EV), unless or until the government instigates a meaningful public charging infrastructure. Also, they will not purchase an electric car due to the long-standing issue with range limitations. Cost is also a factor.
Norway Ahead Of The Game
It’s well known that our Scandinavian neighbours are way ahead of us in preparing for an electric automotive future. Norway has more electric cars on its road than any other country, on a per-capita basis. In 2016 a quarter of new vehicles registered were so powered. This isn’t especially because Norwegians care more about the environment than anyone else, but rather it’s about cold hard cash. Norwegians have been financially incentivised by their government to buy electric cars over the last ten years at some considerable cost to the state. Can’t really see that happening here when seemingly we can’t even manage a coherent policy on public charging.
The City of Oslo is now going a step further in association with clean-air companies and others to build a wireless fast-charging infrastructure for taxis in the Norwegian capital. The idea of under-road charging is not new and this seems like a step in the right direction.
The project aims to install wireless charging using induction technology. Charging plates are installed in the ground where the taxi is parked and a receiver is installed in the taxi. This allows for charging, they say, up to 75 kilowatts. The Oslo scheme will be the first wireless fast-charging infrastructure for electric taxis anywhere in the world thus aiding the further development of wireless charging technology for all EV drivers.
Faster, Easier And Automatic
Just like here in the UK, infrastructure has always been the issue. It is too time consuming for most motorists, including taxi drivers, to find a charger, plug in and then wait and wait. The wireless fast-charging plan aims to solve these issues and thereby reduce climate emissions from the taxi sector. Taxis will be able to drive up to the charger and a wireless charging session will automatically start. This allows the taxis to charge in a place where they would anyway be waiting for new customers. They won’t be emitting exhaust while waiting, instead they will be receiving renewable energy to charge the taxi's battery system.
Right now the idea of constant under-road charging for all is still the stuff of science fiction, but what about public car parks? If parking bays had charging plates then EV’s could just pull in and pay to park and charge at one and the same time. Knowing this, motorists would have more confidence in the use of electric vehicles because we must accept, unless something radically changes, that the future is electric, and that future is already here right now. Wireless charging is a potential game changer that the UK should be looking at but for now it seems practical to ensure that car owners regularly service their petrol and diesel cars to help keep emissions down, also ensuring that the used cars
they buy are fully inspected prior to sale.