Until now, AMP Electric Vehicles [AMP] has been focusing on converting standard gasoline-powered SUVs to electric power-trains. For private consumers, the electric vehicle [EV] market hasn’t really paid off as quickly as hoped. Fleet operators, on the other hand, have the capital to invest in order to realize future fuel and maintenance savings, up to $10,000 per vehicle per year.
Taking advantage of this, AMP is switching to delivery truck EV conversion, which will be equipped with another new technology, resonant inductive charging by Momentum Dynamics [MoDy]. The pilot program in Reading, PA, will be conducted by Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority [BARTA], expected by March 2013.
“We are pleased to work with Momentum on the electrification and wireless charging project for BARTA. Both our companies recognize the importance of collaborating to integrate wireless charging technology to be used in a real-world application for BARTAs’ transit vehicles,” said Marty Rucidlo, President of AMP.
Inductive charging uses more expensive equipment than traditional plug-in charging and may be slightly less efficient, but it does have a couple of key benefits. First, because there are no exposed contacts, risk of electrocution or short circuits is eliminated. Second, because there are no exposed contacts, inductive charging coils can be placed on the ground, on a garage floor, or even buried in the road.
Inductive charging on it’s own is OK, but suffers efficiency problems once the transmission and receiving coils get out of a certain range, usually a few inches. The resonant inductive charging method used by MoDy increases the range between the coils so that parking on top of them doesn’t have to be as exact.
MoDy’s advanced resonant inductive charging could also be used in roads or parking spaces to charge EVs while waiting in traffic or walking into a store. If such coils could be placed at regular intervals on commuter routes, this could make short-range EVs even more attractive and affordable, since charging could just mean waiting at a stop light.