Inductive charging for public transport
Inductive charging of electric vehicles is often referred to as the charging technology of the future. For passenger cars, static inductive charging is under development, dynamic charging is not feasi
Inductive charging of electric vehicles is often referred to as the charging technology of the future. For passenger cars, static inductive charging is under development, dynamic charging is not feasible today. For trams and buses with fixed routes and fixed stops (for example the end stops of each run), inductive charging becomes very interesting, since it reduces the necessary battery capacity (=cost) and increases the degree of utilization. Trams and buses can be charged comfortably during breaks of the driver, or at longer stops. The inductive charging infrastructure can be used for several types of vehicles simultaneously, for example buses, trams running on streets and, as a future perspective, also for cars. While inductive charging for public transport has not been applied on a large scale yet, the technology is developing quickly and manufacturers announce market maturity for 2013.
Example 1: Inductive Charging of Busses in Genua and Turin
In Genoa and Turin (Italy), electric buses using Conductix-Wampfler IPT (Inductive Power Transfer) wireless charging technology have been in use for more than a decade now and have proven to work from both the technical as well as the economical point of view. Batteries are charged to full capacity over night and then again for shorter periods of time during the day at certain specified stops (terminals, railway stations etc.) along their way. Besides increasing the overall range of these vehicles another advantage of this system is that battery capacity can be decreased significantly which results in lower prices and weight of the batteries.
Example 2: Inductive charging of of a tram in Augsburg
In 2010 Augsburg (Germany) saw the installation of the "contactless and catenary-free” PRIMOVE system which is supposed to show that power inductive charging for trams is a real and safe alternative to conventional systems of providing trams with energy. In a first phase of the project in Augsburg, inductive power receivers were fitted underneath a low-floor tram to receive magnetic energy from cables laid between the rails. Between 2011 and 2012 PRIMOVE expanded the system by equipping test buses and minivans with similar technology to test the systems viability on the road.
Example 3: Bus charging infrastructure used also by private cars in Lommel
In 2010 Bombardier and the Flander’s DRIVE project in Lommel (Belgium) started testing inductive charging for road vehicles. During the first project phase between 2010 and 2011, tests concentrated on the use of buses. Starting in 2012, however, the project will test the possibilities of inductively charging a Volvo C30 electric car fitted with a PRIMOVE power receiver. These further tests under concrete as well as asphalt are meant to confirm the systems applicability to different terrains and weather conditions.
Published on 28 Feb 2013
Updated on 28 Feb 2013