CO2, NOx and fine dust and the resulting driving bans: More and more cities want to reduce the environmental impact of diesel vehicles. An important contribution is the electrification of taxi fleets, which today have a diesel quota of almost 85% and are mainly operated in German city centers. Due to the principle of move forward in public places such as train stations, taxi drivers unfortunately have no way of connecting to wired charging stations. The Chair for International Automotive Management at the University of Duisburg-Essen has initiated an innovative pilot project for this purpose.

The taxi charging concept for public spaces (TALAKO for short) started on October 1st, 2019 with a term of three years and a funding volume of two million euros. The project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics includes the construction of a pilot system in Cologne for wireless charging of taxi vehicles using inductive charging strips. This charging system is integrated underground in the taxi queue. This is how the electric taxis are charged while waiting. The TALAKO project thus makes an important contribution to reducing environmental pollution in German city centers.

In search of a suitable project vehicle, the project team looked beyond national borders and was able to convince a pioneer in the field of electric taxi vehicles about the project. The English vehicle manufacturer LEVC, which produces the black cabs typical of London, is participating with its electric vehicle specially developed for the taxi industry. The vehicle has an electric range of 130 km and a range extender on board to extend the range by 500 km if necessary. The project team is trying to win over other vehicle manufacturers for the project.

The project consortium, which includes in addition to the University of Duisburg-Essen and LEVC, the University of Wuppertal, the city of Cologne, INTIS GmbH, RheinEnergie AG, and TaxiRuf (Cologne), will build a prototype system in Mülheim a.d.R. within the first 6 months. Taxi Stephany already operates a LEVC vehicle here and is convinced of the additional charging option. This is followed by the construction and operation of the planned pilot system in Cologne, on which up to six vehicles can be charged at the same time.