Utah State University raises $9M for wireless electric buses

Utah may be best known among motor enthusiasts for the high speed runs across the Bonneville Salt Flats, but there's another development within the state that's just as intriguing, albeit substantially slower. Utah State University, which last year unveiled an electric bus that could be recharged wirelessly, has hatched a company that's raised more than $9 million and is looking to commercialize the technology, Wired says.

Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification, or WAVE (yes, even the name's cool), is in discussions with New York and Seattle, among other municipalities, about selling its bus for public use. Utah State's Wireless Power Transfer Team and the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative's Advanced Transportation Institute had discovered the inherent advantage of the city bus as a medium, because its frequent stops mean that charging systems can be installed underneath bus stops, allowing for recurring recharging sessions and enabling a smaller battery.

USU got $2.7 million in funds from the Federal Transit Administration to develop the bus and said last year that the vehicle could be recharged with 90-percent grid-to-battery efficiency. And other companies are joining in on the action. Last year, Netherlands-based E-Moss said it was testing a 39-foot electric bus (a converted Volvo bus, actually) using similar induction-charging technology.

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