Transport Theory

Wireless solar charging for electric buses?

Posting in Cities

A Dutch design concept promises to rid electric bus fleets of range anxiety woes by charging buses wirelessly as they pick up passengers.

While electric vehicles are still a small portion of the auto market in most countries, many cities have been looking to integrate electric vehicles into their public transit networks. London recently unveiled a hybrid version of its double-decker Routemaster bus.

But, as the Routemaster discovered in its first few days on the road, battery life is a severe constraint on electric public transit vehicles, which normally need to interrupt their routes to recharge.

Enter the ATC Solar Curve Bus Stop concept. Developed by Studio Mango for the city of Noord-Brabant, in the Netherlands, the system would install inductive charging technology at existing bus stops, enabling electric buses to recharge each time they stop to pick up passengers.

The developers would install around 15.5 meters of solar panels on top of the bus stop's roof, which would convert sunlight to solar power throughout the day. The curved roof would both protect passengers from the elements and tilt down to enable wireless energy transfer to buses as they pulled up under the overhang. This energy transfer would occur using inductive charging, which employs an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects.

Once the charging was completed, green LED lights at the bus stop would alert the driver to continue on his/her way.

No word on when the concept might be implemented, but this could prove to be an effective solution to our electric-bus-charging woes.

Photos: Studio Mango

via [EarthTechling]

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Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure