In the summer of 2013, the city of Milton Keynes in the UK will replace all of the diesel buses on Route #7 with all-electric versions, eight buses in total. The current Route #7, run by eight diesel buses, transports upwards of 775,000 passengers every year, more than 450,000 miles.
The new electric buses won’t be plugged in, though, as they will rely on inductive pads buried in the road. At three different places on Route #7, inductive pads will be buried in the road, and during the drivers’ ten-minute break, the bus’ receiving induction pad will charge about 66% of the electric bus’ total battery capacity.
Eight organizations, led by Mitsui & Co Europe, signed a five-year collaboration to mount a trial run on one route in one city. The trial will be run by Mitsui-Arup joint venture MBK Arup Sustainable Projects [MASP].
Switching to electric buses running seven days a week, MASP is projecting a reduction of 500 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions, as well as 45 tons of other emissions, and will use the data collected during the trial to demonstrate the viability of all-electric public transportation, possibly for cities around the world. The new system could also save $19-24,000 every year on Milton Keyes Route #7 alone.
John Miles, who initiated the trial from Arup, says: “What makes the Milton Keynes project different to other electric bus schemes is the wireless charging system. The Milton Keynes buses will be able to cover a heavily-used urban route because they are able to charge for 10 minutes at the beginning and end of each cycle without interrupting the timetable.
This means that for the first time, an electric bus will effectively be able to do everything a diesel bus can do, which is a significant step forwards to a cleaner, quieter, public transport system.”