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Wireless charging halves the cost of operating electric buses for Link Transit

US transit agency Link Transit in Wenatchee, Washington, wirelessly charges electric buses using inductive charging systems from Momentum Dynamics. After three years of daily use, the community draws up a satisfactory balance sheet, particularly in terms of operating costs.

According to Link Transit’s managing director, Richard DeRock, the cost of operating their electric buses is about 51% of that of a diesel bus. Currently, the company has twelve electric buses using four 300 kW inductive charging stations.

Quickly picking up, Link Transit started using wireless charging in 2018, claiming they were the first to use such a system in the United States. Then, in 2021, Momentum upgraded the previously installed system to 300 kW, as noted.

“Momentum’s wireless chargers were a game changer for us,” DeRock said. “They charge our electric buses for a few minutes when stopping between routes and provide extra range, allowing our buses to stay in service for 12-14 hours a day – even in the harsh cold of winter.”

Momentum’s system includes modules or pads rated at 75 kW. By combining several pads, the modules can supply up to 300-450 kW per bus.

“Wireless charging makes fleet management very efficient as the system provides increased range and eliminates the need for a depot full of cables and chargers, all of which are subject to wear and create a hazardous condition for workers. “, adds Andy Daga, CEO. momentum dynamics.

Link Transit uses the wireless system to charge a growing fleet of electric buses manufactured by BYD in the United States.

To replace aging diesel buses and expand service, Link Transit says it will receive eleven additional electric buses in 2023, all of which will use Momentum’s wireless charging stations.

In today’s communication, Momentum added, other communities using their wireless chargers for their transit buses include Indianapolis, Martha’s Vineyard, Chattanooga, TN, and new installations in Washington, Oregon, California and other states. The new terminal at Kansas City International Airport has also been equipped with wireless chargers. An initial fleet of seven (eventually 28) buses will be in constant operation, sharing two wireless chargers.

This year, the American company has also advanced in the passenger car sector and since May has offered a wireless system that offers the possibility of charging both high (50-75 kW) and low power (7-22 kW) thanks to a “dual mode ‘power’. The company sees this as “a major breakthrough with huge implications for the electric vehicle industry”. So far, a similar system would charge a fleet of Volvo XC40 Recharge taxis at Gothenburg, Sweden, since March.