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WiTricity wirelessly charges YuTong autonomous e-buses

WiTricity is collaborating with YuTong Bus, the number one bus brand in China, to provide wireless charging for YuTong’s autonomous e-buses.

This marks the first commercial application of wireless charging for an autonomous electric e-bus, with WiTricity providing a key feature in one of the most advanced public transportation systems in the world.

The commercial deployment of wireless charging in YuTong’s e-buses will debut in Zhengzhou, China, on the Xiaoyu 2.0 autonomous minibus. The level 4 autonomous bus seats 10 passengers and has a range of 150 km.

WiTricity Halo chargers simplify the charging experience by removing the need to plug in. This is particularly significant in transit applications, where the heavy and awkward cords and cables required could contribute to slips and falls, the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims for commercial drivers. As transit applications for autonomous shuttles and buses grow worldwide, wireless charging will play a key role in keeping those vehicles on the road, WiTricity says.

WiTricity has seen the deployment of its wireless EV charging to date in passenger vehicles, including FAW’s HongQi and Genesis’s GV60. Taxi trials are also underway, showing off the use of wireless charging in queues to give the taxis “power snacks” as they wait for their next fare. The Yutong buses are the first demonstration of wireless charging with autonomous commercial vehicles.



I was pretty impressed in an extended online discussion with an executive representing one of the wireless charging companies, I can't recall which one, or whether it was WiTricity, at how open and factual he was in replying to concerns about charging losses etc.

The bottom line as far as I was concerned was that they were being addressed successfully, and that it is surprisingly common, although unnecessary, to have fairly substantial losses in wired charging, as in reality as opposed to the bloggosphere most customers don't worry that much about the fairly minimal extra cost of inefficient charging.

Especially for taxis, this looks like a good solution for me, as the forced mass conversion to BEVs for taxi drivers in China led to many of them suffering significant losses from downtime charging.

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