Take a look at the bus of the future. Its batteries can be wireless charged while it’s standing at a bus stop, providing it with the power it needs to complete its route. In the autumn of 2016, a Scania electric-hybrid city bus equipped with this new technology will start operating under real-life conditions in Scania’s hometown, Södertälje.
Scania is conducting extensive research into the different electrification technologies that could one day replace or complement combustion engines. One of the most promising research streams is into a field called inductive charging. This involves energy being wirelessly transferred to the vehicle from the road surface.
Buses operating under inductive charging systems are charged at specially adapted bus stops where charging equipment has been installed below the road surface. A receiver mounted in the floor of each bus receives the energy transferred by the installation, with a six- or seven-minute stop sufficient to charge each vehicle’s batteries for its entire route.
The project is being conducted as part of joint research initiative between Scania and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Other stakeholders include Södertälje Municipality, The Swedish Energy Agency and Stockholm County Council.
“The main purpose of the field test is to evaluate the technology under real-life conditions,” says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, who is heading Scania’s research in this field. “The change from combustion engines to electrification has an enormous potential. The field test in Södertälje is an initial step towards electric roads where vehicles take up energy from the road surface.”
In addition to the wireless induction technology, Scania is also conducting research into other technologies for the transmission of electricity to vehicles. These include conductive technology, where power is transferred from overhead lines to a pantograph power-collector mounted on each vehicle’s roof.