The city of Milton Keynes in the UK is replacing the diesel buses on its Nº7 route with eight electric buses that will use wireless charging. Eight organisations led by a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co Europe signed a five-year collaboration agreement committing to the replacement of the diesel buses with their all-electric counterparts on one of the main bus routes in the city by summer 2013.
The buses will charge when power transmitted from a primary coil buried in the road is picked up by a secondary coil on the bus. 10 minutes parked over a coil will replenish two thirds of the energy consumed by the bus’s route. The primary coils will be placed at three points on the bus route, and the buses will charge in the time scheduled for driver breaks at the end of the route.
The eight electric buses will run seven days a week; removing approximately 500 tonnes of tailpipe CO2 emissions per year as well as 45 tonnes of other noxious tailpipe emissions. The route currently transports more than 775,000 passengers a year over a total of 450,000 miles.
The trial is a partnership between: Mitsui subsidiary eFleet Integrated Service Ltd; Milton Keynes Council; bus operator Arriva; manufacturer Wrightbus Limited; technology supplier Conductix-Wampfler; Western Power Distribution; Chargemaster Plc; and SSE.
The trial was planned and will be managed by Mitsui-Arup joint venture MBK Arup Sustainable Projects (MASP). MASP’s ultimate aim is use the data collected by the Milton Keynes trial to demonstrate the economic viability of low-carbon public transport. This data could be used to kick-start electric bus projects in other towns and cities worldwide.