Toshiba joins electric transport revolution
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.