[3/22/18] Link Transit Transitions To Battery-Electric Transit Vehicles

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Last week, Link Transit reached a critical milestone in transitioning to battery electric transit vehicles. Its state of the art, first of its kind in the nation wireless charging station is now in service.

Marcus Bellissimo, with our sister station in Wenatchee, KOHO 101, filed this report…

Link Transit reached a critical milestone last week in transitioning to battery-electric transit vehicles.

A newly developed wireless 200-kilowatt on-route battery charger from Momentum Dynamics was installed at Columbia Station and successfully transmitted 208 kW to Link’s new 2017 BYD K9S coach bus. This use of automatic wireless charging represents the first time that a 200-kW wireless charging system has been placed into routine service with a public transit agency in the country.

Eric West, Marketing and Communications Coordinator with Link Transit.

031918 WEST BITE #1 :21 “….in North America”

Previous vehicle charging installations of this type have achieved charging rates of 25% of this power level. The higher power of the new system from Momentum Dynamics will allow much faster charging of the bus each time it stops for just a few minutes along a circulation route. Effectively, all the bus has to do is to drive over and stop atop the charging pad.

031918 WEST BITE #2 1:11 “….look at a full day service”

As a comparison between heavy-duty vehicles and personal vehicles, most electric automobiles vehicles are charged at a rate of 3.3 kilowatts-per-hour.  But at 208 kilowatts, Link Transit’s wireless charger delivers 3.4 kilowatt-hours of energy to the battery per minute, that’s roughly 60 times faster than the most common automobile chargers. The builders of the new charging system, Momentum Dynamics, have created a resonant magnetic induction system that allows the quick transfer of hundreds of kilowatts of power with very high efficiency.
The ability to wirelessly charge a municipal bus is important in transit operations because faster charging allows the buses to achieve driving ranges that make them viable for most daily services. In order to compete with diesel vehicles, electric vehicles must be able to operate the full day while maintaining an energy reserve at the end of the day. The benefits of electric buses are zero tailpipe emissions and far lower operational costs for fuel and maintenance.

Link has a total of five BYD coaches in service.  Presently, only one bus is outfitted to work with the wireless charger.


031918 WEST BITE :41 “….let’s move forward”

Over the next several months, the performance of this vehicle will be monitored as operating conditions change. The decision to retrofit the other four vehicles will be made based on the evaluation of these results.