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Electromobility: E-bus in Baden-Württemberg charges wirelessly

The small town of Balingen near Stuttgart is to be the venue for the Baden-Württemberg State Garden Show next year. But it won’t just be friends of flora and fauna who get their money’s worth. Fans of electromobility may also be amazed. After all, the horticultural show is to be used as an opportunity to set up an exciting pilot project in which electric buses are to be charged inductively during the journey.

Baden-Württemberg is testing the public transport of the future?

The idea of inductive charging is not new. For example, Swedish automaker Volvo tested inductive charging in taxis in the spring of 2022. This involved the use of special parking bays fitted with magnetic coils to enable charging power of up to 40 kW. However, the pilot project in Sweden “only” made wireless charging possible when the vehicle was stationary. The small town of Balingen wants to go one step further and ensure that electric buses are charged while driving.

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For this purpose, magnetic coils will be embedded in the streets that the buses travel on. The route will run from the local town hall to the exhibition grounds of the horticultural show itself. With the help of the magnetic field, which is built up between bus and roadway, the vehicle is to be supplied then over a 400 meter long distance with energy. This seems to be just the beginning. The ultimate goal is to equip a total of one kilometer of roadway with the magnetic coils. The final result will be an Electric Road System (ERS).

Electromobility without charging stress in the future?

If the pilot project turns out to be a success, we could see another breakthrough in the field of e-vehicles. After all, the principle sounds as simple as it is ingenious and could put to rest the current charging stress that electric car owners sometimes experience. In the case of the electric buses in Balingen, it should work as follows in practice. As soon as the bus approaches the Electric Road System, the magnetic coils register this. Similar to turning up the hobs of an induction hob, the magnetic coils are activated as a result.

baden-Württemberg
Project by Electreon in Karlsruhe (Image: Electreon)

A system called Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer is responsible for this. The receiver coils in the bus itself act as a counterpart to the magnetic fields that are created. The battery then stores the resulting current. The bus will then be able to recharge itself at the two final stops using the same principle. In a next step, it appears that the bus depot will also be converted. Ultimately, the entire bus service in Balingen could be based on inductive charging technology. A real breakthrough!

Famous supporters of the project

Of course, the small town of Balingen has not been able to muster the manpower for this groundbreaking project on its own. Instead, well-known companies and utilities are behind the project. EnBW, of course, is not to be missed. The energy supplier from Baden-Württemberg not only supplies the region with electricity, but is also the largest operator of charging stations in Germany. The German Aerospace Center and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are also involved. The inductive charging technology itself, however, does not come from Germany, but from Israel. The company behind it is Electreon, which has already been able to prove in the past that its Electric Road System works.

For example, it already tested their inductive charging in Israel itself in 2019. There, they built a 20-meter ERS on which a Renault Zoe drove along. Should Electreon also be successful again with its pilot project in Balingen, there is nothing to prevent a further Germany-wide expansion. Sections in Karlsruhe, which is also in Baden-Württemberg, and on highways are under discussion, for example. Since a particularly large amount of battery power is consumed at high speeds, the technology could probably be better off in a few places. As Electreon announced in November 2022, it is already planning to equip a one-kilometer section of highway with magnetic coils.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The small town of Balingen near Stuttgart is to be the venue for the Baden-Württemberg State Garden Show next year. But it won’t just be friends of flora and fauna who get their money’s worth. Fans of electromobility may also be amazed. After all, the horticultural show is to be used as an opportunity to … (Weiterlesen...)

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