The new wireless charging station, the 250-kilowatt Inductive Power Transfer Technology (IPT), includes a primary charging plate aimed at reducing wait time for electric buses to be fully charged. The agency’s fleet of two electric buses, with four more expected in fall of 2020, currently charge by using a plug-in charger taking approximately four hours to fully recharge. The new technology would cut the wait-time by more than half, according to the agency.
The process works by an electric bus stopping over the charge plate and aligning with it. The only training drivers will need is how to properly align with the charger, which connects with the bus wirelessly.
Project construction and installation was awarded to A & K Energy Conservation Inc. to not exceed a total cost of $192,000. Funding is derived from Pinellas County's Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement. During construction PSTA’s “layby” on 34th street will be closed, and buses will be diverted to an on-sight temporary transfer center at the agency’s headquarters. Completion of the electric charging station is expected by spring.