Wireless Charging of Electric Taxis: Understanding the Facilitators and Barriers to Its Introduction

Luis Oliveira, Arun Ulahannan, Matthew Knight, Stewart Birrell

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Abstract

The shift to electric vehicles has brought about the potential to reduce the environmental damage caused by road transport. However, several challenges prevent wider adoption of electric vehicles, such as: a lack of charging facilities, long charging times, limited range, and the inconvenience of cable charging. These barriers are more pronounced for taxis, which generally cover longer distances than regular cars and have fewer opportunities for recharging. This research aims to evaluate wireless charging for range extended electric taxis, as a strategy to minimise these challenges and facilitate the electrification of fleets. A mixed methods approach, combining quantitative vehicle tracking with qualitative interviews and focus groups with drivers and local authority representatives, provided an understanding of ‘facilitators’ and ‘barriers’ to the introduction of wireless chargers in London and Nottingham, UK. Results indicated that current wired charging infrastructure does not facilitate recharging opportunities during taxi working hours, causing longer shifts or lower earnings. Drivers reported running on a range extender petrol engine once the battery is depleted, limiting the environmental benefits of electric taxis. We conclude that wireless chargers could facilitate the increased driving range of existing electric taxis if installed where drivers stop more often. The results support the implementation of opportunistic, short but frequent charging boosts (known as choko-choko) as part of policies to alleviate the barriers to the introduction of wireless charging of electric taxis, and foster more sustainable means of road transportation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8798
Number of pages21
JournalSustainability
Volume12
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords

  • Electric vehicles
  • Human-factors
  • Taxi
  • User experience
  • Wireless chargers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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