A pilot test program for charging electric buses via wireless inductive technology to take place in Germany has been announced. Buses will recharge at bus stops in the inner city of Mannheim as passengers get on and off the buses on the busy route 63. Wireless charging is already happening for electric cars.
Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) is fitting two electric buses with Canadian Bombardier's PRIMOVE inductive charger systems. The buses will have lighter, smaller batteries that can operate longer without overnight plug-ins.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is supporting the project, the PRIMOVE Mannheim project to research real data on improving infrastructure, batteries, daily operation and public acceptance. The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development is funding the project with $4.35 million, scheduled to run for one year starting second quarter 2014. Bombardier is doing winter condition testing in Montreal first, not on a route.
In Berlin, Evatran’s Plugless Power induction charging and the Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität project (translated House-Plus efficiency with electric mobility per Google) have been running since 2012 with no cables or plugs needed. The driver just pulls up in front of a control tower which has the system on the ground in front of it, a floor-mounted current delivery block makes the alignment and charging starts automatically. The two parts just need to be close enough that the current can flow between them. Currently about 20 percent of the energy is lost in the transfer, but Evatran is working on decreasing that to 10 percent.
The cost of the Plugless Power 240 volt system is between $3,500 to 4,000, not counting the electrician cost to install it in your home. Then you add in increased electric bills but subtract vehicle fuel bills. In 2012, there were 23,461 Chevy Volts, 12,729 Plug-In Prius and 9,819 Nissan Leafs sold for a total of over 50,000 electric vehicles in one year. As more charging systems become available for these vehicles, prices should come down.
The "House-Plus" project was a German government attempt at building an energy-efficient house generating more electricity than consumed. Started in March 2012, a family of four lives in the Berlin house for 15 months and surplus energy can be stored in batteries to recharge the family's electric vehicles. Every three months, the cars change to test Audi, BMW, Daimler, Opel and VW. First tested was a modified Daimler A-Class E-CELL, a Daimler second-generation smart fortwo electric drive, and a smart ebike to see how the family uses them daily and to show "sustainable living and driving is possible without compromising on one's quality of life." The home
is solar-powered and also has a plug for charging the EVs.
Watch the attached video of wireless charging of electric vehicles.