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Electric Buses that Can Charge En-Route

Eaton, a power management company that works to develop and provide energy efficient technologies, has developed a new DC HyperCharger wireless charging system in Europe. This technological advancement, aimed at Europe’s electric buses, means that the vehicles will be able to charge en-route, rather than visiting off-route fuelling stations, or basing the entire route around a central fuelling station.

Eaton already offers a fast charger for EV’s known as the DC Quick Charger, which can provide an 80 percent charge within 30 minutes. Whilst this is good enough for most private EV owners, public services such as buses cannot afford to waste 30 minutes plugged into a charge station.

The HyperCharger allows vehicles to charge en-route, and in recent demonstration tests recorded an average of eight charges and 240 miles per day utilizing 100 percent on–route charging.

Michael Dadian, the product line manager at Eaton, said that “Eaton has a long history of developing electrical and hybrid power systems for trucks and busses. Our new HyperCharger is the latest example Eaton’s leadership in building a charging infrastructure across North America and helping to set the stage for mass adoption of EVs.”

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In November 2012, aware of the potential that en-route wireless charging could have for electric buses, Utah State University unveiled the first ever wireless electric bus charging system in which a bus moves over a pad which then charges the vehicles battery. Cleantechnica reports that the Utah Transit Authority has agreed to set up a full-scale demonstration of the technology along a public route that passes through the university in Salt Lake City.

The next step would be to develop technology that offers continuous charge along a bus route, rather than having the buses move over charging pads; the US Energy Department may begin to fund the development of such systems.

Other energy efficiency products offered by Eaton, include a hybrid garbage truck that uses Hydraulic Launch Assist technology to help reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent. Basically any waste kinetic energy created during braking is stored in pressurised hydraulic fluid, and then re-used to provide a boost when the vehicle accelerates. Eaton is also partnered on an ARPA-E project to reduce the size of batteries for hybrid systems by 50 percent, and increase the charge rate.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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  • Roger Bedell on December 15 2013 said:
    For the record, if you read Eaton's press release, it does not mention either wireless charging nor Europe. Instead, it appears to refer to their conductive chargers for Proterra's buses in the US.

    Indeed, no one has shown a wireless charger for buses greater than 200kW (Bombardier). Only conductive can reach extremely high power like 1MW.

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