St Petersburg, Florida transit authority deploys WAVE inductive charging station for e-buses

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), which serves Florida’s St Petersburg/Clearwater metro area with 40 bus routes and a fleet of 210 vehicles, recently began construction on a new electric bus charging station at a transfer hub.

The new wireless charging station, which PSTA claims will be the first on the US East Coast, uses 250 kW Inductive Power Transfer (IPT) technology from Utah-based WAVE (Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification).

PSTA added two BYD electric buses to its fleet in late 2018, and plans to add four more in the fall of 2020. The e-buses currently charge by using a plug-in charger, which takes about four hours for a full charge. The new technology is expected to reduce charging time by more than half.

Buses are wirelessly charged by a plate embedded in the pavement, as WAVE demonstrates in a short video. The only training drivers will need is how to properly align with the charging plate.

Florida-based A&K Energy Conservation will handle construction and installation. The project’s construction cost of $192,000 was funded by Pinellas County’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement.

“We are excited that this rapid charger will allow our all-electric buses to remain in continuous service throughout the work day,” 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.”

“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 Chief Executive Officer. “At PSTA we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint while still providing the best service possible to our community.”

Source: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority

  • Vincent Wolf

    The wave of the future for many types of mass transit.

  • Sai 2017

    Nice to see how wireless charging is slowly becoming mainstream. But what’s the benefit in this case? Besides ease of use.

    • Johnny Logic

      Maybe one use case is that you don’t need a Union worker to “fill-up” your bus (FYI — most transit companies don’t let bus drivers touch the gas pumps — they need another technically trained, silo’d job team to do that. 🙂 )
      A wirelessly charged bus can be loading or transferring passengers while supplimenting range

      @stuart_mccoll:disqus The Antelope Valley AVTA seems to have implemented a three-bay, wireless power transfer at their bus-transfer stations that are costing less than putting in a gas-filling-depot, especially when you consider the environmental costs.

      BTW are you *** really advocating for ugly overhead, trolley-like, high-voltage safety hazards to be strung down our CITY roads — I think you are about 100 years behind prevailing “safe-transit” standards for CITY BUSES that roam on our roads in traffic.
      its another thing if we are speaking about rail-dedicated-lane transport. or Do you own stock in ABB?

  • Stuart McColl

    Another waste of money on Wireless Charging. I’ve personally been onsite and watched these expensive failures and documented them in Wenatchee, WA bus system. We’re not charging a tooth brush here … it’s a bus that needs a lot of current. That is why the Pantograph from ABB and Opcharge has been so successful charging the most efficient way conductively. Look into the facts and you’ll see companies like WiTricity and the others are mostly hype and fraud. Here is a link to the highly successfull ABB system, … but there are other successful conductive charging systems to from and others.

    • Jason Glueseekay

      These chargers deliver 250kW. its not a toothbrush. We are using

      these chargers in one location to charge a vehicle in 6

      minutes. They are already in use in California.

    • Ryan Bohm

      So you’ve watched a failure or two and now the entire technology is doomed? So what’s the end-to-end efficiency of the conductive system? You do realize that it’s not 100%, that there’s AC to DC power electronics at some point in the system that is probably in the 93-96% efficiency range. The wireless systems are approaching that same efficiency and you don’t have to deal with the unsightly overhead system. If I have to choose which future to live with – road integrated wireless charging and an overhead pantograph … I’ll take the wireless solution any day. As far as failures you seem to have observed – it’s a very early technology with no moving parts. It will quickly outpace any articulating mechanical system in terms of reliability and cost.

  • sensen

    Just who uses Mass Transit? Billion spent of few, a huge waste of time, money, labor.