A wirelessly charged electric hybrid city bus will soon be cruising the streets of Södertälje, Sweden thanks to vehicle manufacturing company Scania’s sustainable vehicle technology research project.
Scania, which has been researching electrification technologies that could supplant or supplement combustion engines, is partnering with the Royal Institute of Technology to test its wirelessly charged electric hybrid city bus in the real world in June 2016.
Utilizing induction technology, the bus will recharge wirelessly at a specially equipped bus station, absorbing energy from the road surface. Through a six-to-seven minute charging session, the bus will be able to acquire enough energy to complete its entire route.
Scania believes the real-world application of its technology is an important step in transitioning city fleets away from combustion engines.
“There is enormous potential in the switch from combustion engines to electrification. The field test in Södertälje is the first step towards entirely electrified roads where electric vehicles take up energy from the road surface,” said Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, head of Scania’s Hybrid System Development Department.
The gains from making such a switch would be considerable, Scania says, and would result in a substantial savings of both fuel and money.
In addition to road surface charging stations, Scania says it is also exploring other methods of charging vehicles wirelessly, including the absorption of energy from overhead electrical wires or from rails.
“Our customers have different needs and prerequisites when it comes to switching to more sustainable transport. Therefore we don’t want focus on just one technology. Instead we are continuing research in different areas,” said Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt.
While Scania’s project represents the first real-world application of wirelessly charged electric hybrid technology in Sweden, Sweden is not the only country experimenting with it. Four wireless electric hybrid buses are also set to hit the streets of London for a trial run in 2015. Like Scania’s test bus, these vehicles will charge using induction at specially-equipped bus stations.