A new electric bus system does away with ugly overhead power lines and replaces them with next-generation “flash” boosting technology that keeps the vehicle charged along its route.
Articulated electric buses that are part of the system have laser-guided arms on their roofs that align with fast-charging receptacles at bus stops. Onboard batteries can be charged in 15 seconds with a 400 kilowatt boost at every third or fourth stop, topping off the vehicle’s battery until it reaches the end of its route. These batteries store power delivered from the electrified bus stops and through regenerative braking. At the end of the line, the bus receives a three- to four-minute full charge.
The project, called TOSA, is first being deployed on a pilot basis in Geneva, Switzerland, where its builders say it will meet the needs of high capacity, high frequency bus routes during rush hours. Geneva’s transit authorities say the power for the TOSA system will be generated through hydropower, meaning the buses will not produce carbon dioxide and the enterprise will fit into the city’s sustainability plans.