Breakthrough wireless tech charges zero-emissions electric buses FAST. And saves $46k per year over diesel.
The Antelope Valley Transit Authority is peeling the plastic off of the first three high-speed wireless bus chargers for its network of zero-emissions buses this week. The three new inductive chargers will operate at 250 kW speeds that will allow its fleet of fully electric BYD buses roaming around their service area in Southern California to charge up at ridiculously fast speeds, without wires, according to Next Generation Transportation.
It may have blown past you, but charging at 250 kilowatts is crazy fast, even when wired, and these new chargers from the folks over at Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification, aka WAVE, are mind-boggling quick. Consider for a moment that the massive CHAdeMO chargers we have sprinkled around Southern California that have a cable going to them that’s thicker than my son’s arm and a charging nozzle that he can barely lift run at 50 kW. These new wireless chargers are 5 times that speed and don’t need any wires to do it.
Now that you’re paying attention, let’s get back to the news.
The AVTA has been using two 50 kW wireless charging units from WAVE to charge its existing fleet of zero-emissions BYD buses and the new deal for the 250 kW units aims to build on the success of these early units. The transit authority has plans to install 11 of the new 250 kW WAVE chargers this year to charge its existing fleet of 40-foot and 60-foot BYD buses. The new high-speed chargers are being brought in to supplement the 90 depot chargers that provide overnight charging for the current and future AVTA electric bus fleet.
The first three of the 250 kW high speed chargers are now officially online, with three more slated to come online later this month in support of AVTA’s masterplan to convert its entire fleet to zerio-emissions electric vehicles in the coming years.
In total, AVTA may install as many as 15 of the high-speed chargers as its fleet of BYD buses grows in the years to come.
— AVTA (@AVTA1) February 5, 2016
The Antelope Valley Transit Authority has the benefit of being based in the progressive Antelope Valley, with the support of Lancaster Mayor Rex Perris. Lancaster is also the North American manufacturing heart of BYD and where BYD churns out all of its electric trucks and buses for its North American customers.
Mayor Perris was instrumental in luring BYD to the region and in doing so, he has not only brought high tech and clean energy jobs to the region, he also laid the foundation for a clean energy revolution in Lancaster.
AVTA’s system gives their #ZeroEmission buses the same range as a diesel bus—but at a lower cost & without the pollution
— BYD (@BYDCompany) February 9, 2019
AVTA ordered 85 battery-powered BYD buses in early 2016 under a $79 million contract. The order comprises 36 of BYD’s 40-foot buses (designated K9), 14 K11 60-foot articulated buses and 35 over-the-road C10 coaches, 45 feet in length – all of them fully battery-electric.
“We have about 35 of the 75 buses here now,” AVTA executive director and CEO Macy Neshati tells NGT News.
Although 85 BYD buses have been ordered, “75 is the real big number,” he says, “because that’s when we become 100 percent green.”
What’s exciting is that the $79 million order was not just submitted to ‘go green’ or ‘for the environment’, but it was put in to save the other type of green — cash money.
The Antelope Valley Transit Authority calculated a savings of more than $46 million over the lifetime of its fleet purely as a result of going electric. That nets out to a savings of $46,000 per bus per year, which makes a strong case for converting over to a fully electric fleet by itself.
More than that, the savings alone beg the question: with savings like that, why are transit districts even allowed to buy anything other than zero-emissions electric buses?
The AVTA also poached a top BYD resource in its hiring of Macy Neshati from BYD. We first ran into Macy on a tour of the BYD Bus and Coach factory in Lancaster, California back in 2015 where he told us about how BYD lured him out of retirement to lead its charge into the North American market with a role as a Senior Vice President of Sales. He is passionate about electric buses and continues to lead the AVTA as its CEO as the company cuts the path to 100% electric vehicles for other transit operators around the world.
According to the U.S. DOT’s research, operating 50,000 ?⚡buses eliminates:
✅ 1.35 million cars worth of pollution
✅ 84.5 million tons of C02
✅ 500 million tons of NOₓ
✅ 8,750 tons DPM
— BYD (@BYDCompany) January 25, 2019
(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica.)