SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah has placed an order for a 40-foot, all-electric transit bus with BYD Company Limited (BYD), which will be the first shuttle to be allowed to run across the heart of campus.
The bus will be retrofitted with a WAVE wireless charging pad under the bus, developed by the Utah State University Energy Dynamics Laboratory, a provider of wireless power transfer for vehicles. This technology will allow the BYD electric buses to pull up over an embedded charger in the asphalt with a maximum of 10 inches clearance and “opportunity charge” the waiting bus with no moving parts or unsightly wires required. The embedded charge pads measure about three feet square and pose no danger to the public, according to BYD.
The bus runs will be timed to pick up passengers coming off eastbound trains on a 15-minute cycle. The driver will position the bus over the charging pad during several minute wait periods between runs.
The funds to test a full in-service operation of WAVE’s wireless power charging system were provided through a Federal Transit Administration grant awarded to the Utah Transit Authority, according to the company.
BYD’s long-range, all-electric, “GreenCity” buses have been running worldwide in commercial fleet service for the last two years. BYD’s GreenCity fleets (which include both eTaxis and eBUSes) have accumulated more than 14 million miles using BYD’s internally developed electric drive technologies and iron-phosphate battery systems.