In the US state of Washington, Momentum Dynamics has installed three additional inductive charging systems for the Link Transit authority electric bus fleet in Wenatchee. Charging capacities of up to 300 kW mean that electric buses can be charged wirelessly within a few minutes.
The buses’ operating range is expected to increase from 190 miles (306 kilometres) to 300 miles (483 kilometres) with the new charging solution.
An existing 200 kW inductive charging system that has been in operation since March 2018 will be upgraded to the new technology this August. Two additional BYD electric buses are scheduled to join Link Transit’s fleet later this summer, with three more planned for late 2022. The Link Transit electric bus fleet currently consists of ten BYD vehicles.
Link Transit started using the wireless charging systems in 2018 for the country’s first 200-kilowatt wireless charging system for a battery-electric transit bus. This inductive charging system has been operational on a BYD K9S bus.
Following this successful introduction, Momentum Dynamics Corporation and Link Transit extended their relationship with a5-year agreement in January 2020. Momentum’s system is made up of a module, or pads rated at 75 kW. By specifying multiple pads, vehicles can be rated up to 300-450 kW per bus. The same system can be used with passenger cars, taxis, buses and delivery vehicles.
“We are beyond pleased with how this technology has been functioning for us,” said Richard DeRock, Link general manager. “Reliability in varying weather and temperature conditions has been excellent, and we are confident that we can operate these vehicles with the consistency necessary to deliver a great service to the residents of our communities.”
To support vehicle electrification, Link Transit was awarded a State of Washington Green Transportation Grant for $1.4 million in 2019. This grant funded the purchase of the three wireless 300 kW Bus chargers, seven plug-in 85 kW overnight bus chargers, 19 Level 2 personal car chargers for public use in Link Transit Park and Rides and other electrical infrastructure.
Momentum Dynamics’ systems have been in deployment for the last four years on the East Coast in Howard County, Maryland with Maryland’s Regional Transit Authority (RTA), along with systems installed in Chattanooga. The Momentum system has been installed for operation in Martha’s Vineyard with Vineyard Transit Authority and for IndyGo’s system in Indianapolis.
However, all is not rosy on the Momentum horizon with a little legal trouble. WiTricity has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Momentum Dynamics. The wireless charging specialist seeks compensation and a halt of sales. MIT is the co-plaintiff. Electric Mobility observers no doubt hope that the matter will be well settled so that this technology enjoys the level of commercialisation that enables the proliferation of zero-emission transport – most especially in public transport where it serves greater public needs. Earlier last year, Momentum Dynamics announced a cooperation 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.
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