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Scania to test wirelessly charged plug-in hybrid city bus for the first time in Sweden

Starting June 2016 a prototype for a new Scania plug-in hybrid bus (based on Scania Citywide Low Entry) will go into daily operation in Södertälje. Click to enlarge.

Scania is undertaking intensive research into various types of electrification technologies that could replace or complement combustion engines. Inductive charging is among the options the company is exploring and would enable vehicles wirelessly to recharge their batteries via electrified roads.

Now, for the first time in Sweden, Scania and the Stockholm based Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) plan to test the wireless charging technology in real-life conditions. Starting June 2016, a prototype for a new Scania plug-in hybrid bus (based on Scania Citywide Low Entry) will go into daily operation in Södertälje as part of a research project into sustainable vehicle technology.

As part of the field tests, a Scania citybus with an electric hybrid powertrain will go into daily operation in Södertälje in June 2016. At one of the bus stops there will be a charging station where the vehicle will be able to recharge wirelessly from the road surface in 6 to 7 minutes sufficiently for a complete journey.

The bus is wirelessly charged via a charging station located under the road surface(1). A receiver (2), mounted in the bus floor, absorbs electric energy and charges the battery pack (3). Click to enlarge.

The project will be run through a jointly-operated Scania/KTH Integrated Transport Laboratory research center.

The Swedish Energy Agency will provide 9.8 million SEK (US$1.3 million) for the project’s realization. Other stakeholders include Södertälje Municipality, Stockholm County Council and Tom Tits, the tech-oriented museum for children and youths.

The main purpose of the field test is to evaluate the technology in real-life conditions. There is enormous potential in the switch from combustion engines to electrification. The field test in Södertälje is the first step towards entirely electrified roads where electric vehicles take up energy from the road surface.

—Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, Head of Scania’s Hybrid System Development Department

To build an infrastructure and convert bus fleets to vehicles that run exclusively on electricity would provide many advantages. With a fleet of 2,000 buses, the city could save up to 50 million liters (13 million gallons US) of fuel each year—resulting in a decrease in fuel costs by up to 90%.

Apart from induction, Scania’s research and development department is looking at different technology options, including the take-up of energy from overhead electrical wires or from rails.

Our customers have different needs and prerequisites when it comes to switching to more sustainable transport. Therefore we don’t want focus on just one technology. Instead we are continuing research in different areas.

—Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt



To pick up enough energy in 6 to 7 minutes for a complete journey is very quick charging?

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They will probably use the Bombardier PRIMOVE Inductive Wireless Charging System. Scania has already tested this system on electric trucks. This system has 200 kW charging power and >90% efficiency. It is being tested at several European cities. At Bruges they have a 5.6 km bus route with one charging stop at the depot that takes 9 minutes. The bus has a 36 kWh Lithium Ion Battery.

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