The new 40-foot electric bus will be the first shuttle to be allowed to run across the heart of campus — a 1.7-mile loop route between the South Campus TRAX station north to the Warnock Engineering building with midway stops at the Student Union buildings.
The University of Utah
has placed an order for a 40-foot, all-electric transit bus with BYD Company Ltd. (BYD) the largest manufacture of all-electric buses in the world.
BYD's long-range, all-electric, "GreenCity" buses have been running worldwide in commercial fleet service for the last two years. BYD's GreenCity fleets (which include both eTaxi's and eBUSes) have accumulated over 14 million miles using BYD's internally developed electric drive technologies and Iron-Phosphate battery systems.
The manufacturer will supply one all-electric bus to be retrofitted with WAVE's wireless charging pad under the bus, developed by the Utah State University Energy Dynamics Laboratory.
This technology will allow the electric buses to pull up over an embedded charger in the asphalt with a maximum of 10 inches clearance and "opportunity charge" the waiting bus with no moving parts or unsightly wires required. The funds to test a full in-service operation of WAVE's wireless power charging system were provided through a Federal Transit Administration grant awarded to the Utah Transit Authority.
The new 40-foot electric bus will be the first shuttle to be allowed to run across the heart of campus — a 1.7-mile loop route between the South Campus TRAX station north to the Warnock Engineering building with midway stops at the Student Union buildings. The bus runs will be timed to pick up passengers coming off eastbound trains on a 15-minute cycle. The driver will position the bus over the charging pad during several minute wait periods between runs. The embedded charge pads measure about three feet square and pose no danger to the public. Nothing protrudes above the surface to be damaged by cars, snow plows or vandals.
"We will be the model of zero emissions rapid transit for the Nation," said Alma Allred, the University of Utah's Director of Commuter services. "We want to be in the forefront of technology that reduces the need for fossil fuels and has zero noise and zero pollution."