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Technical Overview of Inductive Charging for Electric Buses in Europe
Swenja Sawilla, Oskar Schütt

Last modified: 2019-07-19


Within in the last 15 years, many cities and authorities have decided to test and implement electric buses into their public transit networks. Besides using conductive plugs to charge the buses overnight at the depot, they also can be wirelessly charged with inductive energy transfer technology. When implementing wireless charging pads into the streets and considering charging time in operation planning, a bus with a small battery (e.g. 60 kWh) can complete a whole day of driving. Both study cases Mannheim and Madrid have proven that this technology is applicable for everyday service. Within Europe, 17 cities are currently or going to use wireless charged electric buses. Opportunity Charging with inductive charging pads means that fixed points in the network are created that must be stopped at regularly. It is also costly and hard to license their implementation within public space. Therefore, the authorities in Madrid and Mannheim both decided to use conductive overnight charged buses in the future. The City of Brunswick remarks that no bus manufacturer is currently willing to equip new buses with wireless charging technology. A representative of inductive charging developing company IPT-Technology GmbH states that new bus manufacturers are in the early stages of developing new vehicles.

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