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Oslo will build wireless chargers for electric taxis in zero-emissions push

Norway's capital wants all its taxis to be zero-emission vehicles from 2023 onward.

Oslo business district
Electric car sales grew in Norway by 40 percent last year, and that pace doesn't appear to be slowing any time soon.
Morten Falch Sortland/Getty Images

Norway is helping lead the charge toward complete electrification, and it will soon have a whole network of wireless chargers for its capital city's fleet of taxis. The city of Oslo, in conjunction with Finnish utility company Fortum and American manufacturer Momentum Dynamics, announced this week that the three will work together to create a wireless-charging infrastructure for Oslo's growing zero-emission taxi fleet. The charging plates will be installed at places where taxis park and wait for fares.

The city will use Momentum Dynamics' wireless charging technology, which is claimed to work at speeds up to 75 kilowatts, which is in the neighborhood of most current DC Fast Charge stations. Taxis will have the requisite hardware installed, so all they need to do is park over a charging station and accumulate electrons before shuffling off somewhere else.

"We believe this project will provide the world with the model it needs for keeping electric taxis in continuous 24/7 operation," said Andrew Daga, CEO of Momentum Dynamics, in a statement. "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. Momentum is very excited to be working with the people of Oslo and with our partner Fortum."

Oslo intends to have nothing but zero-emission taxis in operation from 2023 onward, and Norway hopes that all new cars sold across the country will be zero-emission vehicles by 2025. Infrastructure is usually mentioned as a typical roadblock between the current day and wider EV adoption, and while wireless chargers do incur some loss in transmission, their charging speeds continue to grow. That can reduce downtime and ensure fleets can stay active for longer.

While most talk of electrification tends toward passenger vehicles, it's public transportation that can really receive a boost from going electric. With the sheer number of diesel buses and idling gas-powered taxis in urban areas, it's important to consider the effects of reducing their emissions, as well. As Bloomberg noted in a report earlier this week, China's electric-bus fleet is doing much more to reduce oil demand than electric passenger cars.