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Britain to be home of "world's most demanding electric bus route"

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January 9, 2014

One of the Milton Keynes electric buses

One of the Milton Keynes electric buses

Image Gallery (3 images)

We've recently seen electric city buses being tried out on routes in places like Germany, Sweden and Korea. On January 19th, however, a demonstration program will begin in the UK, which its organizers claim will be one of the most demanding ever.

The 5-year project will involve eight electric buses running 17 hours a day, covering a 15-mile (24-km) route in the large British town of Milton Keynes. While the drivers are on their scheduled mid-shift breaks, the buses will be parked over charging coils embedded in the road. Power will be transmitted from those coils to receiving plates located on the underside of the buses – just like the inductive charging setups already in use in most of the other previously-mentioned projects.

A diagram of the inductive charging system

All of the Milton Keynes buses will be serviced by two wireless charging points, with a 10-minute charge replenishing the batteries by approximately two thirds.

With each bus logging over 56,000 miles (90,123 km) per year, it is estimated the eight vehicles will keep approximately five tonnes (5.5 tons) of particulates and noxious tailpipe emissions, and about 270 tonnes (298 tons) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.

The multi-partner project is being led by eFleet Integrated Service, a company set up by Mitsui & Co. Europe and design engineering consultancy Arup.

Source: MASP

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
9 Comments

You could cause chaos in a city by disrupting a few of these chargers.

fenshwey
10th January, 2014 @ 04:13 am PST

Let's hope that it proves successful. It is, of course, too little too late, But what do climate scientists know about tipping points and the like? They only spend all their working hours studying the subject.

Perhaps seeing as at least 4 C is now highly likely, I wonder where they are going to put the air-conditioning units. The usual location is taken up with batteries. (The air-conditioning will need to be powered by those same batteries, so I hope that that is in their calculations.)

Mel Tisdale
10th January, 2014 @ 04:56 am PST

most of england probably doesn't need air conditioning. just like solar panels aren't really useful where there is a lot of fog and clouds or snow.

it will be a good experiment and i hope it succeeds just for the eventual gas saving.

notarichman
10th January, 2014 @ 06:27 am PST

With each bus logging over 56,000 miles (90,123 km) per year, it is estimated the eight vehicles will keep approximately five tonnes (5.5 tons) of particulates and noxious tailpipe emissions, and about 270 tonnes (298 tons) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year. "

--does that also account for the EXTRA CO2 emitted at the central power plant though (for the energy to charge the batteries) ?

Larry English
10th January, 2014 @ 08:34 am PST

"I wonder where they are going to put the air-conditioning units."

Thanks for that - I needed a good laugh..!

Keith Reeder
10th January, 2014 @ 12:28 pm PST

At least with a central power plant you have the abilty to treat the emissions in one spot instead of trying to decrease the emissions from each piston powered vechicles .

John D Mc
10th January, 2014 @ 12:33 pm PST

"--does that also account for the EXTRA CO2 emitted at the central power plant though (for the energy to charge the batteries) ? "

Hush Larry, you're not supposed to ask questions like that!

Catweazle
10th January, 2014 @ 12:34 pm PST

Public transit is a mistake. It loses money just as all govt. businesses do. It a social need exists, the profit motive will fulfill it. Govt. does not remove the profit motive, but it perverts it into a social loss. Ask anyone who has lived under socialism.

Don Duncan
10th January, 2014 @ 06:03 pm PST

@ John D Mc

The "Greens" have the British electricity generators burning biomass from America shipped by burning Bunker C; it would be cleaner to run modern diesel buses.

Slowburn
11th January, 2014 @ 01:25 pm PST
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