Wireless Charging for Electric Buses to be Tested in Germany

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Photo credit:  Some rights reserved by harry_nl via Flickr

Photo credit: Some rights reserved by harry_nl via Flickr

Wireless charging certainly isn’t new. However, we don’t see it trumping EV charging stations across the world due to one simple limitation: implementation.

That is why it is good to see that the research is still on for the technology. This project in particular, tests the practicality of wireless charging technologies on one of the most commonly used heavy-duty vehicles for public transportation: buses.

A rail division of the Canadian company Bombardier in Berlin, Germany has given the green light to test a new wireless charging system for the two electric buses in the city Manheim. The buses, which were built in Switzerland, will be retrofitted with a charging system that uses Bombardier’s PRIMOVE technology. Wireless charging modules would then be installed at bus stops, underneath the road bed, to complete the charging system.

The primary focus of this test project is to see how wireless charging technologies could improve the overall performance of these large electric vehicles. The electric buses would go about their regular routines, and would drive around normal routes, charging the vehicle’s battery with the wireless chargers. The buses won’t necessarily stop over for significant time to recharge however, as the two vehicles will only be allowed to charge during pauses when they arrive at bus stops to pick up or drop passengers.

In most wireless inductive charging systems, it is usually more effective if small batteries are used, since charging will be done in small, but multiple short sessions. However, larger batteries are required for increased range, though it takes a longer time to charge. So, the battery size for the bus must be adequately balanced, to get the advantages of both extreme ends without suffering too much from their respective weaknesses. Thus the test project can be considered as a challenge to provide continuous power to large electric vehicles without requiring them to stop just to recharge.

Researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology will be monitoring the daily activity of these buses, recording and analyzing the data that they will collect, and using the data to further improve future test systems. The test period would last for about 12 months.

The test project is part of Germany’s overall plan to universally adopt electric vehicles (buses in particular). According to the report, the country has in fact already allocated a considerably amount of funds in order to achieve that goal. This test for example is backed by a 3.3 million euro (4.3 million USD) funding support, an amount that is promptly provided by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

Christian Crisostomo
About Christian Crisostomo (260 Posts)

Christian Crisostomo is just your average tech geek that loves to see man's newest and most recent technological exploits. He holds great interest in the potentials of green technology, and is enthusiastic about the continuous development of environment-friendly alternative energy.

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