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Wireless charging of electric buses to be put to real world test in Germany


February 25, 2013

German transport operator RNV will run a trial of Bombardier's PRIMOVE technology that enables the wireless charging of electric buses

German transport operator RNV will run a trial of Bombardier's PRIMOVE technology that enables the wireless charging of electric buses

Regional German transport operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) is set to carry out a pilot project to test the viability of wireless inductive charging technology of electric buses. The trial will see two electric buses fitted with Canadian transportation manufacturer Bombardier's PRIMOVE inductive charging technology, which will enable them to be recharged wirelessly as they let passengers on and off at bus stops along the inner city route 63 in Mannheim, Germany.

Inductive charging technology sees the wireless transmission of energy taking place between components embedded under the road surface and receivers mounted under the vehicles. The proponents of the technology say it eliminates the need for lengthy overnight plug-ins and lets vehicles be outfitted with lighter and smaller batteries, while allowing them to operate for longer periods.

With support from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the PRIMOVE Mannheim project will help determine how this type of technology fares on a busy route, thereby giving researchers real world data to improve infrastructure, batteries and the daily operation of a system based on magnetic induction. Public transport companies will also be able to assess the competitiveness and acceptance of the technology by the public.

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development is providing €3.3 million (US$4.35 million) to fund the project, which is due to begin in the second quarter of 2014, initially running for a year. Before the year-long trial run in Germany, Bombardier will test PRIMOVE in Montreal's winter conditions, but not on an actual route.

While the wireless charging pilot in Germany will be tested in the context of public transport, similar solutions to charge private cars wirelessly are being developed elsewhere. These include Evatran’s Plugless Power and the Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität project, which has been running in Berlin for almost a year.

Source: Bombardier

About the Author
Antonio Pasolini Brazilian-Italian Antonio Pasolini graduated in journalism in Brazil before heading out to London for an MA in film and television studies. He fell in love with the city and spent 13 years there as a film reviewer before settling back in Brazil. Antonio's passion for green issues - and the outdoors - eventually got the best of him and since 2007 he's been writing about alternative energy, sustainability and new technology. All articles by Antonio Pasolini

I wish them the best of luck, it's a great system!


While I have no doubt that inductive charging will work it won't be used for private vehicles until someone figures out how to charge for the electricity.


Yes, you can bill the user. The electricity is induced only for a short distance which loses efficiency as you get further away. So stealing power is less practical. Also, it will not charge until the receiver communicates with it (which means the power is shut off while the receiver is not present. The encryption for communication can be as good as cellphones are currently and can provide a way to bill the user. Another way is to isolate where these charging stations are so that you have to pay to get in and then the charging cost is incorporated into the cost to enter.

Gary Richardson

Great news.

But we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Germany uses coal power plants to produce most of its electricity and plans to shut down nuclear power plants in the next twenty years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_sector_in_Germany

Freyr Gunnar

The newer Norway/China based Thorium LFTR technologies will provide safer much cheaper, cleaner electricity to the modern world, will "Alter The Global Energy Maps Forever" and provide enough cheap electricity that free downtown electric car charging may save cities a fortune in gasoline engine related costs. Local merchants just may kick in to cover the costs for bragging rights! We enter a new technological age, promoted by all save for a few "stick in the mud" American patent holders who are also major share holders in the "Status Quo" and deliberately thwart changes that threaten their share values. These narrow minded folks will be bashed by the rapid advances made in Communist China where such activity is illegal. As the Petro Dollar is put in check by the new Thorium technologies, change will happen.

Bruce Miller

It would be more interesting except it's been done for over 100 yrs now. It's also been being used in LA on some of their EV buses.


nice, very nice...

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