Volvo already announced the results of a study of wireless charging using a stationary C30, and now it's embarking on a more ambitious study of wireless charging involving moving city buses. Next year, in conjunction with the Swedish Transport Association, Volvo will build a section of electric road up to 500 meters long that would use inductive charging to refill the batteries while the bus drives over it.

Right now, the company's Hyper Bus diesel hybrid has to stop to plug in and charge at the end of its route. The company is looking for a way to keep buses in service while being able to run on electric power for greater lengths of time. The new line used for the study will be called ElectriCity, and will come online in central Gothenburg sometime in 2015. There's a press release below with more information.
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The Volvo Group studies potential to test electric roads in a city

May 19, 2014 -- The Volvo Group is now taking the next step in the development of sustainable transport solutions. In collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration, the Volvo Group will study the potential for building electric roads, where city buses can be charged from electricity in the road at the same timeas the bus is in operation. The benefit is quieter and more climate-smart public transport. A 300- to 500-meter electric road may be built for test operations in central Gothenburg during 2015.

"Vehicles capable of being charged directly from the road during operation could become the next pioneering step in the development towards reduced environmental impact, and this is fully in line with our vision of becoming the world leader in sustainable transport solutions. Close cooperation between society and industry is needed for such a development to be possible and we look forward to investigating the possibilities together with the City of Gothenburg," says Niklas Gustavsson, Executive Vice President, Corporate Sustainability & Public Affairs of the Volvo Group.

With the use of an electric road, vehicle batteries would continuously be charged wirelessly during operation by transferring energy from the electricity grid to a vehicle, instead of charging the bus while it is standing still at charging stations. The technology being studied is called inductive charging, whereby the energy is transferred wirelessly to the underside of the vehicle by equipment built into the road.

The Volvo Group will develop a detailed proposal within the framework of innovation procurement from the Swedish Transport Administration. The proposal entails building a road section equipped with wireless charge technology and developing vehicles that will automatically charge their batteries when passing such a road section. The road will be built along a suitable bus line in central Gothenburg and be tested for public transport. Experiences from such a test track will provide valuable knowledge for future political and industrial decisions for establishing electric roads.

For several years, the Volvo Group has been offering hybrid buses with a traditional diesel engine that is supplemented by an electrical engine to reduce CO2 emissions. Three Volvo plug-in-hybrid buses are already in operation in Gothenburg (project Hyper Bus*), which charge their batteries at the end stations of line 60. The next stage of development is for these types of buses to be able to charge their batteries while in operation, thus increasing the distance the buses can run on pure electricity. And this is exactly what will be studied now. In 2015, a new bus line, ElectriCity, will become operational between Chalmers and Lindholmen in Gothenburg. This line will also provide additional knowledge of charging technology and electric power for heavy vehicles.

"We are working on both a broad and a deep basis to develop the technology of tomorrow. Electric roads are another important part of the puzzle in our aim of achieving transport solutions that will minimize the impact on the environment," says Niklas Gustavsson.

(*Hyper Bus is short for Hybrid and Plug-in Extended Range Bus)


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      denniskfc
      • 6 Months Ago
      so...we are moving towards slot cars, interesting hahaa
        Joeviocoe
        • 6 Months Ago
        @denniskfc
        Well, slot buses. But there are already many trolleys that have an overhead "slot car" connection with power cables. And they can freely move from lane to lane with only one set of cables above. Ugly, but very effective. What works for buses rarely also works for passenger cars.
      goodoldgorr
      • 6 Months Ago
      Instead of inducting charging put on the road they should use strait up electric wires on top of the bus. That way it charge directly, it's more safe and it cost less. If they put that on the road, i won't go there because i don't want to be electrocuted.
      JonathanPierce
      • 3 Months Ago

      Vovlvo are one of my favourite makes http://www.levver.be/ Congratulations!

      Danielus
      • 6 Months Ago
      Its not the same Volvo that build buses as the one who build cars... Volvo, the carmaker, is owned by Geely while Volvo LV, the truck and bus maker, is an independent company...
        11fiveoh
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Danielus
        It isn't independent. It's still volvo.
          srlalsd1
          • 6 Months Ago
          @11fiveoh
          It is different companies. Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks are one company. Volvo Cars is a different company. Geely Sweden AB. Use your fingers and google this ****.
        Jim McL
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Danielus
        Thanks Danielus. The Volvo Group owns Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, Renault Trucks, part of Eicher Motors in India, UD Trucks in Japan, Penta Marine engines, and so on. The Volvo Group has had nothing to do with Volvo Cars ever since the car division was sold to Ford years ago and then to Geely. Nothing except the trademark that is. Compare these: www.volvo.com www.volvocars.com There is still a link to Volvo Cars from the Volvo Trucks website, but that is about it.
      mycommentemail
      • 6 Months Ago
      A while back I had read about a system designed in England where trams were equipped with a flywheel and no other motive power. At each stop, the tram would have its flywheel mechanically sped back up via a clutch plate while passengers boarded and disembarked and then move on to the next stop. Apparently, one charge was enough to allow the tram to run for several stops without charging (an engineering safety margin measure in case it couldn't charge up at a particular stop for some reason or another). The advantage was that the whole system was a metric crap ton less expensive than the usual electrified tram system. The trams themselves only had the complexity of the flywheel system, but no on board batteries or internal combustion or electric motors. The tracks were dead simple with no need to run electricity along them (or overhead). The stations were a bit more complicated but that was supposed to be offset by the other savings. I wonder if something similar could be done with buses. They run a fairly regular route with consistent stops where they could "charge up" again. Build in enough of a margin that if they cannot recharge at a particular stop that they can go up to, say, five stops without getting a boost. Might be a lot simpler than electrifying the roadway. Of course, if this is a prototype for electrification for all vehicles (private cars) then the flywheel thing would not be viable. Just wondering though...