Utah State University has tested a first-of-its-kind electric bus that is capable of charging itself through wireless induction technology. Dubbed ‘the Aggie Bus’, the e-bus uses a high-power, high-efficiency wireless power transfer system capable of transferring enough energy to quickly charge an EV over an air gap of 10 inches.

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Over the past two years, the USU Research Foundation has constantly improved their system until it demonstrated 90% electrical transfer efficiency of five kilowatts over the 10 inch gap. Their demonstration last year and this month has now validated the idea that electric vehicles can efficiently be charged with wireless technology.

Working with USU’s Wireless Power Transfer team and the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative’s Advanced Transportation Institute at USU, the research team believe they have found a more efficient way to power the nation’s public transportation.

With a combination of modern advances in engineering and Nikola Tesla’s principles of induction, USU engineer Hunter Wu and his team are positive about the progress of their prototype, which was fitted to the Aggie Bus.

The Aggie Bus has already achieved several milestones. It was the first bus developed and designed by a North American organization to be charged with wireless power transfer technology, and it is the world’s first electric bus with WPT technology combining the three following performance metrics: A power level up to 25 kilowatts, greater than 90 percent efficiency from the power grid to the battery, and a maximum misalignment of up to six inches.

“The unveiling of the Aggie Bus today is a historic achievement and a great leap forward in the science and engineering related to electric vehicles,” said Robert T. Behunin, USU vice president of commercialization and regional development. “As a result of the work done by Utah State engineers, scientists and partners, EV owners and operators will now be able to simply drive over a pad in the ground to recharge their batteries, the benefits of which reach far beyond convenience.”

+ Utah State University

Via Fast Company