There’s no doubt about it — wireless electric vehicle technology gets people excited. It’s not as efficient as conventional electric vehicle charging, but it’s more convenient and something that simply gets people excited. So, I’m sure a new, 5-year wireless electric bus pilot in the UK is going to get some of our readers excited.
The wireless electric bus trial just started at the end of last week. It is taking place in Milton Keynes (a quite green city that I actually studied in a bit of depth for a graduate school project).
“A number of cities, including Nottingham and London, already run electric buses in their fleets. But the number 7 route in Milton Keynes will be the first to be powered by wireless technology, transmitted through charging plates set into the road,” James Murray of the UK’s Business Green writes.
To ensure bus drivers can stick to their tight timetables, the buses will be able to recharge two-thirds of their battery while parked over charging plates when drivers are having a 10-minute tea break. As a result, Milton Keynes hopes just two charging plates will be sufficient to serve the fleet of eight electric buses.
The five-year trial is being led by engineering firms Arup and Mitsui Europe and is also backed by Milton Keynes Borough Council, the Department for Transport, Arriva, Chargemaster, Wrightbus, SSE, and the University of Cambridge.
We’ll see what comes of this project. Electric buses look like they are going to be the future of transit, but it’s not yet clear which will be more economical — wireless electric buses or “conventional” electric buses like the one BYD offers and has been very successfully trialling from New York City to Barcelona, and selling from California to Sao Paulo.