Toshiba joins elec­tric trans­port rev­o­lu­tion

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

BET­TER known for its elec­tric goods, Toshiba has now also en­tered the elec­tric trans­port ser­vice in­dus­try and is field test­ing an in­duc­tion charger for elec­tric­ity on a 45-seat elec­tric bus.

The bus will cover an 11 km route in Tokyo tak­ing on con­gested sub­ur­ban roads and fast high­way trav­el­ling.

The wire­less charger was de­signed with Pro­fes­sor Yushi Kamiya of the fac­ulty of sci­ence and engi­neer­ing at Waseda Univer­sity and is de­scribed as a sec­ond gen­er­a­tion mag­netic res­o­nance sys­tem. In­stalled in the ground on the bus route, the driver has to push a but­ton to al­low charg­ing of Toshiba’s lithi­u­mion recharge­able bat­tery.

The first gen­er­a­tion of elec­tro­mag­netic in­duc­tion de­mands that the charg­ing and re­ceiv­ing pads be closely po­si­tioned to al­low a charge. Sec­ond gen­er­a­tion mag­netic res­o­nance al­low the charge pad and the bat­tery to be mis­aligned by as much 20 cm along the width and 10 cm along the length, and they can be as far as 10 cm apart with­out los­ing con­tact and charge.

It takes only 15 min­utes or so to charge SCiB to a level nec­es­sary for the EV bus to run one-way be­tween the test sites.

Toshiba said the for­giv­ing na­ture of its sys­tem en­ables a long life and tests have shown al­most no fall-off in per­for­mance even af­ter 15 000 quick charge and dis­charge cy­cles.

This makes the Toshiba sys­tem ideal for use on shut­tle buses, which must com­bine heavy use with fre­quent and fast charg­ing. The field tests will con­tinue un­til De­cem­ber. — WR.

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