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PSTA Installs First Wireless Bus Charging Station on East Coast of U.S.

Electric Bus Charging Plate | PSTA | Transportation

After the bus is stopped over the plate, the driver presses a button and the bus is recharged. Charging takes about 10 minutes.

PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority officially opened this morning (June 9) the first inductive wireless charging station on the U.S. East Coast.

The wireless charging station, the 250-kilowatt Inductive Power Transfer Technology, includes a primary charging plate aimed at reducing the time it takes for electric buses to be fully charged. The PSTA’s fleet of two electric buses, with four more expected in of 2020, currently charge by using a plug-in charger, which takes about four hours to fully recharge a bus. This new technology now cuts the wait-time by more than half.

“This innovative technology is one giant step forward for not only PSTA, but transit agencies across the nation. Being the first electric charging station of its kind in Florida sets the standard of transportation agencies becoming more environmentally-friendly,” said Brad Miller, PSTA CEO. “At PSTA we are committed to reducing our carbon-footprint while still providing the best service possible to our community.”

The process works by stopping an electric over the charge plate and aligning with it (video here). The only training drivers will need is how to properly align with the charger, which connects with the bus wirelessly. Once the driver is aligned with plate, he or she will just have to press a button and a 10 minute charge will begin (video here). Our electric buses average 180 miles or 15 hours before having to re-charge.

“We are excited that this rapid charger will allow our all-electric buses to remain in continuous service throughout the workday,” said Joe Barkley, PSTA board chair. “As we add additional all-electric buses to our fleet, this charging system will add dramatically to our efficient, cost saving electric bus service.”

Project construction and installation was performed by A & K Energy Conservation, Inc. to not exceed a total cost of $192,000. Funding came from Pinellas County’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement.

PHOTO SHOWS, LEFT, AN ELECTRIC BUS STOPPING AT THE CHARGING PLATE. ON THE RIGHT, PSTA CEO BRAD MILLER SPEAKS AT THE RIBBON CUTTING. COURTESY OF THE PINELLAS SUNCOAST TRANSIT AUTHORITY.

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