Scania tests fast wireless charging in urban traffic

Scania Citywide Electric Hybrid with inductive charger Södertälje, Sweden Photo: Dan Boman 2016

The Nordic region’s first bus service featuring wireless (inductive) bus stop charging is now starting. A newly developed electric hybrid bus from Scania will be operated in regular urban traffic in Södertälje, Sweden, as part of the efforts to identify new more sustainable solutions for public transport in urban environments.

This is the first time the technology is being tested in the Nordic region and both the bus and bus stop solution are part of a research project where Scania, the public transport operator for the Stockholm region SL, Vattenfall, Södertälje Municipality and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) are cooperating to develop a silent and sustainable public transport system. The project is partly financed by the Swedish Energy Agency.

Wireless bus stop charging means that the bus parks over a charging segment located under the road surface at the charging station, where charging occurs automatically. Seven minutes of wireless charging is enough to cover the entire 10 km long route, which the bus will operate in Södertälje. The cost of the Wireless bus stop charging project amounts to just over SEK 38 million, of which Scania is investing SEK 22 million. The Swedish Energy Agency has granted almost SEK 10 million in research funding, which will be divided among the Royal Institute of Technology, Scania and SL.

Electrification of the transport sector will demand various technologies and solutions – both in terms of where and how vehicles are charged. Charging can either occur when vehicles are stationary at depots and bus stops or during operation. For charging during operation the alternatives are conductive charging via a pantograph or inductive charging – or a combination of these techniques. The choice of solution depends on what transport task will be performed. The size and weight of the batteries, which can be carried on board the vehicle, for example, determines how much of the charging must occur while in service.

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