Utah State University’s Aggie electric bus will recharge itself at every stop

Public transport is definitely a green way to travel. However, conventionally fueled buses produce a lot of toxic emissions, which scientists at the Utah State University want to bring to a zero. The team here has come up with a first-of-its-kind electric bus that is charged wirelessly whenever it stops to pick up passengers. Designed by the Wireless Power Transfer team at USU and the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative’s Advanced Transportation Institute, the eco friendly Aggie bus uses the same technology to recharge itself as the technology used in wireless cell phone chargers, albeit, on a much larger scale.

For inductive charging a charge plate is placed under the floor of the bus and another is placed under the bus stop. As soon as the bus stops at its designated spot, the electrons are transferred from the ground to the bus without any physical contact. The team has designed the system in a way that even if the bus and the charge plate are misaligned by up to 6-inches, 25KW of power can still be transmitted wireless at an efficiency of 90 percent.

The technology allowed the researchers to reduce the weight of the battery onboard the bus and also reduces its cost. Moreover, since fixed route buses make frequent stops, frequent wireless charging is definitely ideal. The team at USU is now working with Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE) – a USU spin-out – in order to bring the bus to the markets by mid 2013.

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