The Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan for Austria 2021 – 2030 envisages that only zero-emission cabs will be permitted from 2025 onwards. The necessary conversion of Austria’s cab fleets is derived from the resolutions of the European Council and the corresponding targets of the Austrian Federal Government to achieve the climate goals.
From 2025 onwards, all major vehicle manufacturers will strive to bring predominantly battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids with less than 50g CO2 per km to market in order to meet the corresponding targets for achieving the climate goals and to avoid penalty payments.
Previous eTaxi initiatives have demonstrated that trips to charging stations and the corresponding charging times result in inefficient idle times. That makes eTaxis economically unattractive for cab companies and leads to a low acceptance of e-mobility.
The eTaxi Austria project will support the transition for the Vienna and Graz cab fleets
by providing charging options at cab stands and attractive cab packages:
Due to current emission standards (EURO 6), the Vienna cab fleet already consists largely of hybrid vehicles; the share of pure e-vehicles (BEV) has so far remained very low. The City of Vienna will focus on automated conductive charging directly at the cab stand to ensure simple, smooth eTaxi operation in the long term.
To enable conversion of the entire Graz cab fleet, additional fast charging points or alternative charging options will be needed in the Graz urban area. The City of Graz will focus on a combination of automated, conductive charging at the stand as the primary energy supply plus fast charging (> 150 kW) as a fallback option for peak operating periods.
Simplification of the charging process by implementing the automated Matrix Charging® system and optimized selection of locations – where charging is needed most – could be key levers for facilitating a broad roll-out of electric mobility – not only in cab fleets. In both cities, legal and organizational requirements are being examined, while measures are being implemented to ensure that e-vehicles with the planned charging technology can be maintained and service in workshops. Tailored funding offers are also being prepared to make it easier for companies to quickly make the change.
In the initial phase of eTaxi Austria, the charging system, the connection requirements and other technical development steps will undergo function testing, and the cab packages and pilot operation will be prepared.
An essential part of eTaxi Austria is the planning of the post-project phase to ensure scalability and transferability.
This includes a staged implementation plan with preparatory measures for a roll-out to the entire cab fleet in Vienna and Graz and for transfer to other cities. These measures will consist of operating concepts and business models, licensing models, coordination with vehicle manufacturers regarding the automated charging system and a new model for the service structure for the cab industry.
Future technological requirements (simultaneity, load management, performance), scalability (further use cases, opening of the charging infrastructure, model-independent conversion) as well as further services (plannability of total costs of ownership) are considered in the plan.
In the pilot phase, the Matrix Charging® technology is being tested and evaluated in Vienna and Graz at a total of 10 selected cab stands. An additional two High Power Chargers (HPC) are being tested and evaluated as a fallback option in Graz involving a total of more than 60 eTaxis in the pilot project.
Therefore, eTaxi Austria will ensure the establishment of charging options directly at the stand, which will make it possible to continue ensuring environmentally friendly passenger transport with cabs as part of the wider network of public transit and walking/cycling while contributing to decarbonization using renewable energy.