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Ceremony held for the launch of non-contact charging electric buses in Milton Keynes, UK

Mar. 7, 2014


Mitsui & Co., Ltd. in conjunction with its smart city and low-carbon projects and Japan and globally, launched a demonstration project for electric buses on routes in Milton Keynes from January 2014 in collaboration with firms including Arup, Wrightbus and Arriva. The demonstration project will run for five years.

This demonstration project focuses on city buses which on one route with high rider numbers will be replaced with eight electric buses—rapid adoption of which is expected as transportation is electrified, reducing urban greenhouse gas emissions—that charge incrementally at the beginning and end of the route in the mid-sized UK city of Milton Keynes.

These electric buses eliminate time consuming charging cables through a system that uses wireless charging technology (inductive power transmission) to begin charging at the push of a button. The trial will examine whether incremental charging can reduce the amount of onboard battery storage needed, economizing on the price and weight of the buses. In addition, by collecting and analyzing driving data collected on the route we can create a one-stop solution from planning to application for simulating the onboard battery storage and number of charging locations needed for other routes.

The electrical induction charging system on electric buses

The UK Minister of State for Transport (center) and Noboru Katsu, Operating Officer, EMEA Business Unit (second from the left) in front of the electric busesThe UK Minister of State for Transport (center) and Noboru Katsu, Operating Officer, EMEA Business Unit (second from the left) in front of the electric buses
An electric bus in motionAn electric bus in motion