Oxford plans innovative Wireless Electric Bus project

By: Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council are excited to announce a commitment to work on a joint study for an innovative Wireless Electric Bus project.

Working in partnership with Oxford Bus Company, MBK Arup Sustainable Projects (MASP), and sister company eFleet Integrated Service (eFIS), the plan is to trial the use of double decker buses that can be wirelessly charged.

 Wireless Electric Bus

MASP, a joint venture company between Mitsui & Co., Ltd, and Ove Arup & Partners Ltd., and enabling company eFIS have successfully implemented an electric single deck bus trial in Milton Keynes. There is now a vision for all parties to study the technical and commercial feasibility of replacing the existing busy Park and Ride buses in Oxford with a fleet of around 20 new electric vehicles. The buses will have zero tail pipe emissions and will be the first double decker vehicles of their kind to operate in the UK.

The new electric buses will recharge their batteries wirelessly during their working day. Power transmitted from a coil buried in the road at the Park and Ride stops will be picked up by a similar coil on the underside of each bus. Ten minutes parked over a coil will replenish the energy needed to run each bus for the day.

It is hoped to have the trial running by the end of 2016. The project will contribute to improving the air quality in Oxford, demonstrate the commercial viability of low carbon transport and develop an economic model for the more widespread use of electric vehicles for mass transit systems. Hopefully, this will lead to greater confidence and investment in green transport across the world.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council said: “Having a full electric Park and Ride fleet would be a great asset for Oxford, giving businesses the confidence that Oxfordshire County Council and the bus operators are open and ready for innovative transport solutions to enable the County to solve the challenges that the transport network faces.”

Luke Marion Finance & Commercial Director at Oxford Bus said: “Oxford Bus Company has been at the heart of the community for 135 years. We’ve always been at the leading edge of green, environmentally-friendly innovation. We are delighted to be working with our partners to test the viability of this innovative concept.”

Councillor John Tanner, Oxford City Council’s Board Member for a Cleaner Greener Oxford says: “This is a very exciting study for Oxford and we are extremely pleased to be playing our part.

“Projects like this will help us achieve our ambition of improving the city’s air quality and creating a low carbon Oxford for everyone.”

This article orginally published on the website of Oxfordshire County Council.