Scania is testing a wirelessly charged electric-hybrid bus on the streets of Södertälje, Sweden, which is expected to be on the road in June 2016. The vehicle will be recharged wirelessly from the road surface at bus stops, where the vehicle will take on enough energy for a complete journey in around six minutes.
“The main purpose of the field test is to evaluate the technology in real-life conditions,” says Håkan Sundelin, research and development co-ordinator for hybrid technology at Scania. “We want to learn more about the technology and how the systems perform but also how passengers and drivers perceive it. Our goal is that they won’t see any difference.”
There is enormous potential in the switch from combustion engines to electrification, according to Sundelin. “The field test is the first step towards entirely electrified roads where electric vehicles take up energy from the road surface.
“To build an infrastructure and convert bus fleets to vehicles that run exclusively on electricity will provide many advantages,” he says. “With a fleet of 2,000 buses, the city can save up to 50 million litres of fuel each year. This means the fuel costs decrease by up to 90%.”
The company is looking at other options, including the take-up of energy from overhead electrical wires or charging stations.