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Bus Manufacturer to Retrofit Wireless Charging for Electric Buses in Indianapolis

After buses were unable to meet range expectations in Indianapolis, the city reached an agreement with Chinese bus supplier BYD to provide new charging facilities.
June 14, 2019, 11am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Indianapolis’ 31 battery electric buses are getting upgraded wireless charging stations. "During testing, IndyGo realized low temperatures were causing a dramatic drop-off in predicted range," Phil Dzikiy reports for Electrek. The city was promised 275-mile ranges, but when it found buses running out of power by mile 200 in colder temperatures, they looked to hold their supplier accountable. To make up for the range issue, the Chinese bus manufacturer BYD has equipped the city with three additional charging stations.

These chargers take 10-20 minutes to charge buses batteries. "IndyGo claims it can be done without interrupting service, as drivers will take scheduled breaks with no passengers on board during those times," Dzikiy reports.

The articulated BYD buses are crucial to Indianapolis’ long term public transit plans, as the city has promised its Red Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line will be completely electric. If the city is able to operate a completely electric fleet on that line, it would be the first fully electric BRT in the United States.

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