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Norwegian taxis, which charge wirelessly while waiting for price

From next year, two dozen specially equipped electric Jaguar taxis will roam the streets of the very green capital of Norway. And when idling at special taxi lines, they will be able to charge from scratch.

This new program in Oslo would be the world's first, and it brings together a British car manufacturer, a leading Nordic charging point. company and a former NASA architect who grew up in the Marlboro public housing project near Coney Island.

"In the building where a sniper fired from the roof of & # 39; The French Connection & # 39;" said NASA alumnus Andrew Daga, referring to the 1

971 police drama with a memorable car chase.

Today, Mr. Daga is the CEO of Momentum Dynamics in Malvern, Pa. The company, which he co-founded in 2009 with a focus on advanced charging of electric vehicles, has been tapped to supply components that from the first quarter of 2021 will provide 25 electric Jaguar I-Pace models to Cabonline / NorgesTaxi in Oslo. Inductive charging blocks and associated equipment supplied by Momentum will be placed on and under road surfaces at selected taxi queues, enabling fast, hands-off charging for I-Pace.

Norwegian legislators concerned about carbon emissions have given a mandate for the world's fastest transition to electric vehicles; now, with generous tax incentives, the oil-rich country on the north sea has a car market with the world's highest percentage of electric sales. Battery-powered vehicles captured nearly 50 percent of the market through June, compared to about 2 percent in the United States. Norway is also one of the most successful markets for the spacious I-Pace, which was introduced as a 2019 model (and sells in America for 71,000 dollars and up). Oslo's ambitious ElectriCity program envisages that the city's taxi opportunities will be filled exclusively with electric vehicles by 2024.

"We believe that wireless charging is a potential game changer," said Sture Portvik, head of electromobility in Oslo City Council, " And we are happy to help by helping taxi drivers move and not lay cable cars to the city. By improving the infrastructure and giving a better tax to the taxi industry, we are sure that by 2024 all taxis in Oslo will be zero emissions.

At current power levels, likely to increase significantly over the next few years, 15 minutes of charging on Oslo pads will add 50 miles to the car's range. With frequent but short stops during the day, the cars will rarely be fully charged, but should always be charged enough.

"It's the big idea," said Daga, 61. "You do not have to charge a battery to 100 percent or even 80 percent. You just need to add another 20 percent from wherever you start, and only recharges often.

"There is a concept referred to as grazing instead of guffawing – a sub-charge here followed by another sub-charge elsewhere and at the end of the day, you can be in business 24/7, he continued . "Convenience is a factor, but efficiency is the point."

Morgan Lind, chief operating officer of Recharge Infra, a division of the leading Nordic charging company Fortum, called it "the perfect charging technology."

"It's clear there without anyone having to change, understand, learn or do," he added.

Additional benefits are also great. They include the elimination of conventional charging points, which chop the pavement area, and extend the life of batteries and system components that, thanks to underground, will not be exposed to the elements.And due to the convenient locations and short-charged charges, there will be less downtime, music for the ears of fleet owners and taxi drivers.Software developed by Momentum will enable monthly invoicing to record each charging event.

Mr Dagas' company began supplying electric bus test systems in four US cities in 2015, and recently began collaborating with a major European manufacturer on an urban delivery program. the Chinese EV engineering power plant Geely, owner of Volvo, Lotus and London Electric Vehicle Company (the former London Taxi In ternational), although Daga was a mother with details.

With few competitors yet, Mr. Daga expects them to arrive. "One company will not be responsible for establishing it for the entire planet," he said. However, his expansionist belief lies in his belief in the strength of his well-kept company patents and the observation that “everything that moves – from people to packages and packages, laundry and lobster – must be moved by something that has wheels, whether it is a forklift or a truck or even a train. "And all these wheels will need power.

The high hope is that the new system will prove the efficiency of a wireless charging infrastructure and will be distributed virtually anywhere, speeding up the adoption of electric vehicles, which many see as a key element in the decarbonisation of transport.

Mr. Daga and Momentum are building a new 90,000 square meter headquarters in Malvern and plan to double employees to over 100 people by 2021. The Oslo program is more than proof of concept for this company: It is the first commercial use of Momentum's technology and the realization of a dream almost a dozen years in creation.

"It was never a question in my head during the whole period, since this was the right thing to do," said Daga. "It was almost a mission I was on."

Mr. Daga moved as a teenager from Brooklyn – an alumnus of Public School 95 – to Ithaca, N.Y., where his Italian father, a waiter, opened a popular restaurant, Elba Kitchen. He studied architecture at Cornell, but his father's death led to his transfer to Temple University in Philadelphia. After Daga graduated in the early 1980s, NASA approached him, and within a long time he was working on the International Space Station.

Momentum's significant breakthrough came from Mr. Daga's meeting with an electrical engineering professor at Bucknell University, Bruce Long, with whom he wanted to find the company. Mr. Long, who died in 2018, had developed important knowledge about wireless charging while working in Antarctica on a mission to measure the motion and depth of the continent's glaciers for Pennsylvania State University's geophysics program.

"One of the things you need in Antarctica is a means of operating electronic devices without opening their cases, because the snow that blows will get into the case if you open it," Daga said. "So Bruce had thought of wireless power for a while and used it on our program, but at a much, much higher power level than he originally intended. It was the core of the intellectual works, and it started growing from there. Now we have a bit of a forest. "[19659009] He added: "I have wireless chargers for my phones and I do not use them much because there is no compelling reason to do so for a phone. But there is a compelling reason to do so for a vehicle of 5 000 pounds that are in motion. "

It will be inductive charging at home, Daga reckons, but for now the goal is to convert fleets to electricity faster. [19659002]" The taxi fleets and transit authorities in different cities that run buses need to have "the lowest possible cost of refueling," he said 9002] Autonomous vehicles – cars without drivers – that work city and suburban routes will be Daga claimed particularly well suited for wireless, non-contact charging systems.

"That's what wireless power does," he said. “It automates the process of delivering energy to fleets. It automates and makes the whole process of keeping the fleets in continuous operation safer and cleaner. That's the business proposition. "

Meanwhile, he said," it's a big choice to make. "

" Fifteen years from now, if you walk 42nd Street outside Grand Central and you see there under the archway, you may have either filled that street full of 6-foot-tall DC chargers with large hoses to plug in. Or it will have been buried and made invisible. "

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