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The First Ever Wireless Fast Charging Bus Station in America Breaks Cover

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【Summary】n North America, another stride in electric vehicle technology has presented itself in the form of country’s first ever wireless fast charging bus station. The wireless fast charging terminal will be used by public buses offered by Link Transit.

Manish Kharinta    May 13, 2018 3:00 PM PT
The First Ever Wireless Fast Charging Bus Station in America Breaks Cover
author: Manish Kharinta   

Recently the American automaker Ford revealed that it is planning on developing vehicles which will be built around electric powertrains to substitute the conventional public transport. Electric powertrains have found a widespread of application in personal vehicles and the success of offerings by companies like Tesla is a testament to the same. 

To aid in the practicality of electric vehicles, companies have developed and installed fast charging stations around the world. Even in the international markets companies like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are partnering to install fast charging stations across Europe which will support the next generation of their electric cars. 

In North America, another stride in electric vehicle technology has presented itself in the form of country's first ever wireless fast charging bus station. The wireless fast charging terminal will be used by public buses offered by Link Transit.

In Washington state, Link Transit has launched North America's first ever wireless fast charging bus terminal at its Columbia Station. The terminal was installed by Momentum Dynamics and the system is rated at around 200 kilowatts. During the launch, the system managed to achieve and transmit a charge of around 208 kilowatts. 

The bus used during this launch was the BYD K9S and it happens to be one of the only 5 BYD electric buses which are currently in operation by Link Transit. The launch will also act as a test to see how the wireless charging system which costs $250,000 will function over the course of its service. This will help determine if the technology is viable to be incorporated into the rest of the fleet.

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The 208 kilowatts translate into 3.4 kWh per minute. This makes this wireless charging station 60 times faster than the standard 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger which we find in electric cars. This is the first time a fast charging wireless station has been installed with the aim of utilization during active duty by a public transport body.

Earlier, a pilot project was showcased at a bus station in Maryland. Momentum Dynamics and BYD came together to install a 50-kilowatt wireless charging terminal. For now, the fast charging technology for big buses is still in its initial phase.

It is expected that the new wireless charging stations will act as a replacement of the overhead conductive (wired) Chargers, which were previously used for electric busses. The reliability issues and several moving parts posed as hurdles faced by Link Transit during the incorporation of overhead conductive Chargers. 

These buses operate in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee area and must travel anywhere between 120 to 150 miles every day. With the help of fast charging stations during a standard layover, these buses can be charged to travel 12 to 15 miles which is comparable to their 7 to 15 miles requirement between layovers. This will Ensure that these electric buses are able to achieve their daily driving range.

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