A 50-Kilowatt System for the University of Utah in Salt Lake
Utah’s Wave – for wireless advanced vehicle electrification – and partners are to unveil a full-size battery electric bus with in-service range extension via a 50-kilowatt wireless charging system in Salt Lake City tomorrow, October 29.
Wave is providing “the most powerful and efficient single pad wireless charging system ever deployed by a U.S. company for public transit.” The bus is a refurbished Gillig vehicle by Complete Coach Works, offered as the ZEPS, for zero emission propulsion system (F&F, February 9, 2013).
The battery bus, to be operated by the University of Utah, will connect a Utah Transit Authority Trax light transit station with the campus, plying a route approximately 4.5 miles in length. A 211-kilowatt-hour battery pack will be charged at night, with the Wave system providing range extension and a cushion for the busiest days with full accessory loads, Wave business development VP Zach Kahn told F&F.
Support form FTA’s TIGGER Program
The Utah Transit Authority partnered with Wave to complete the project after receiving a $2,692,000 TIGGER (Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction) Grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
“This launch is a key moment in our short history, marking a culmination of years of hard work to develop, finance and build a 50-kilowatt wireless charging system,” Wave CEO-CTO Michael Masquelier said in a release.
The technology “has set a new benchmark that will change the transit industry in America and around the world,” he said.
No Wires, No Cables
“Wave-powered buses are charged wirelessly from a charging pad embedded in the roadbed and another identical pad mounted underneath the bus,” states the company release. “Wave’s WPT is created through magnetic fields that move power from underneath the roadway to the vehicle, without wires or cables, while the vehicle is stationary and loading/off-loading passengers.
“Charging vehicles wirelessly reduces the required on-board battery size, increases battery life by avoiding deep cycling, and extends vehicle range.”
“Traditionally,” Wave says, “the transit industry has been hesitant to adopt electric buses on a broad scale – even though electric buses are cheaper to operate and maintain – due to valid challenges about the range and cost of electric buses created by the inherent limitations of current battery technology. Batteries are expensive, heavy and large; however the Wave WPT technology overcomes these challenges by reducing the size of the batteries needed to operate an electric bus.
USTAR Support Too
“Wave does this by using advances in power electronics – the same advances that give us today’s smartphones and laptops – to provide a cheaper and more effective way of powering electric buses.”
“Without wireless charging developers like Wave, transit agencies and fleet owners would be stuck with existing battery technology, which prevents the wide scale adoption of battery powered, all-electric vehicles,” Masquelier said.
In addition to the FTA funding, Wave credits support for the wireless electric bus project from USTAR, the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative.
‘Affordable and Reliable’
“The University of Utah is committed to sustainability, and this electric shuttle not only helps the U work toward its sustainability goals, but also serves to further the use of electric vehicles by mass transportation systems throughout the state and country,” said Alma Allred, director of commuter services for the school.
“As this technology is tested and refined in a real-world environment here at the U, it can develop into something that is both affordable and reliable and ready for use on a broader scale.”
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Source: Wave with Fleets & Fuels follow-up
Salt Lake City-based Wave claims ‘the most powerful and efficient single pad wireless charging system ever deployed by a U.S. company for public transit.’
‘has set a new benchmark that will change the transit industry in America and around the world.’