The US charging system developer Momentum Dynamics, which specializes in wireless charging for electric vehicles, is cooperating with the North American vehicle manufacturer GreenPower Motor. They aim to integrate Momentum Dynamics’ inductive charging technology into GreenPower’s EV Star shuttle bus and to distribute it in the USA, Canada and Europe.
The collaboration is planned to extend beyond the EV Star shuttle bus, but the work the two companies here will lay the groundwork for future integration possibilities. Following the shuttle, GreenPower also produces a variety of electric school and transit buses, which could greatly benefit from fast inductive charging during operation.
Potential in easing range anxiety and transferring to an electric infrastructure with more flexible charging options is also something the cooperation recognized: “Range anxiety is still a pain point for many operators who wish to transition to a zero emissions fleet,” commented Ryne Shetterly, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at GreenPower, “By integrating wireless charging, that range anxiety goes away by allowing end users to charge up without ever taking their vehicle out of service.”
Momentum Dynamics’ inductive charging technology uses ground pads to deliver a current to a vehicle parked above, and features charging capacities up to 200 kW at their charger used by Link Transit in Wenatchee, Washington, where several BYD K9S bus use the charger for a quick top-up. The manufacturer also notes that the system worked well in a variety of environmental conditions, spanning from hot summer weather to snowy winters, following a recent 5 year extension of the project.
GreenPower’s EV Star shuttle bus features a 118 kW Li-Fe-PO battery, which is estimated to be good to carry up to 19 passengers for a 150 mile (280 km) range. Integrated with the inductive charging system, this could easily be used to give the vehicle a practically-infinite run time. No mention was given to when the partners expect their efforts to bear fruit, however given the current pandemic insecurity, this is hardly surprising.
GreenPower also recently launched another project with the EV Star – together with Perrone Robotics, they are working on autonomous driving capacities, with the aim to create fully autonomous shuttle buses. The project is also designed with an open mind for the future, which may mean that the technology will be adapted on a wider scope to GreenPower’s buses. Paul Perrone, CEO, and founder of Perrone Robotics described their technology solution as such: “PRI’s solution is designed to easily allow new technologies to be integrated as they emerge without having to rewrite the code. This gives our customers ‘future-proofing’ with regard to autonomy.”