One of the means to more sustainable cities is through better public transportation, which can potentially take more cars off of the roads and reduce emissions in urban areas, and further step along that "greening" of transportation could come through electric buses, which could replace their diesel counterparts.
The sticky point for many electric vehicle solutions is the need for plenty of charging stations along the route, so drivers can "top off" their batteries and extend their range, along with the need for quicker charging solutions.
Electric buses are no different, in that they need to be able to complete their routes without lengthy stopovers for charging, and to that end, wireless, or inductive, charging stations might be the perfect solution. With wireless charging, buses can automatically receive a charge while stopped at transfer stations or stops, which could be enough of a charge to make it through the rest of the route (or to the next charge station).Wireless chargers for electric buses are currently planned for Montreal, Canada, and Mannheim, Germany, using chargers from Primove, and the University of Utah currently has a 25kW wireless charging system in place for powering a 22' bus on one of its campuses, thanks to the work of one of its spin-out companies, WAVE.
Recently, the city of Long Beach, California awarded a contract to WAVE for a couple of the charging stations for their public transit system, and diesel trolley in Monterrey will also get an electric makeover and an inductive charging station.
"The $14 million BYD contract is for two wireless charging stations at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif., according to WAVE C.E.O. Michael Masquelier. WAVE’s system is designed to be used with any kind of vehicle, said Masquelier. The company also has a contract to build a wireless charging station in Monterrey for a trolley that currently runs on a diesel engine, he said." - PluginCars
According to WAVE, their charging pads allow for power levels up to 25kW, a 90% efficiency rate across the air gap of 10 inches, and can operate effectively even when misaligned by as much as six inches.
Combining the WAVE (or other) inductive chargers with solar roads could be the key synergy for building truly "green" transportation systems, according to FastCoExist, and there's also a lively debate in the comments over at a post at PluginCars over whether this technology is worth it, so if you're an engineer or techie, you might find that interesting as well.