New Electric Bus Recharges in 15 Seconds at Each Bus Stop

EV Bus recharging 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Electricity declared war to those dinosaur-juice-addicted machines we call cars. More and more electric vehicles surface the market claiming to be the future of personal transportation. But what about mass transportation?
Well, that’s almost fully electric now - we have electric trains, trolleys and trams to take us around the city. But then there are expanding cities that don’t have the infrastructure needed to support such means of transportation and normal diesel-powered buses are operating around.

But there might soon be an answer for costly railways and electric wire grids needed for green urban transportation - electric buses that can recharge while pulling in bus stops.

The project called TOSA is the fruit of collaboration between ABB Secheron, EPFL’s Transportation Center and the Haute Ecole ARC in Geneva, which developed special buses able to carry 133 passengers using electricity alone and not having to connect to overhead lines, the recharging being done each time they pull over in a station.

Don’t just imagine a small Formula 1 team waiting in each bus stop to replace the empty battery with a fully charged one though. Instead, the buses will have their batteries mounted on the roof and will be fitted a tethering arm that extends and connects to a high-power recharging port mounted above the bus stop.

The process is called “flash recharging” and it will supply the batteries with enough juice in 15 seconds to last until the next stop or so, thus eliminating the costs of overhead electric lines and the poles required to keep them up there.

EPFL researchers already developed a software that simulates the creation of a TOSA line, which takes multiple parameters into account in order to see if the thing is feasible. The modeling and cost optimization program has been integrated into a web interface, to design virtual TOSA lines and see how they work in certain cities.

Although several cities expressed their interest into such transport system, Geneva will be the first one to adopt the TOSA line in 2017.

This whole story just gave us a small idea: why not embed some wireless recharging spots in the asphalt near each stop light so future vehicles with wireless charging capabilities could suck on some electricity while sitting for the green light?

Sounds a bit like a scenario pulled out from some sort of sci-fi movie, with those wireless chargers needing to automatically detect a car and ask it if it wants a short boost, maybe even tell the driver it’s position relative to the vehicle so they could align properly.

But regarding that a lot of the technology used in the Demolition Man (1993) movie is now real, this might get done too.

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