2013 May 31

The Master Resource ReportĀ  2013-05-31

There will be no report June 7th.

One way to reduce charge anxiety

One solution to the range problem with electric vehicles would be to charge intermittently while actually on the road. This is exactly what ABB is developing with a new quick charge system for transit buses. The key feature that allows this to work is the predetermined and frequent scheduled stops that buses make over the routes they follow.

(The Globe and Mail) - Claes Rytoft, acting chief technology officer at ABB, said the new system takes only 15 seconds to charge a bus carrying 135 people with enough power to reach the next stop and fully charges the battery in just three to four minutes at the end of the line.

This approach would allow the battery system to be smaller since the distance between charges would short being continually topped off over the full distance of the route. This will help reduce the cost of the vehicle and the need to maintain a network of overhead wires to support traditional trolley buses.

The Canadian aircraft and rail manufacturer Bombardier is also looking at a similar system for buses using wireless induction charging built into the road surface.

Several other companies are working on similar systems and hybrid models built around conventional propulsion systems. Soon the bus you are riding may be charging its batteries while you are stepping on and paying your fare.

Note: Clients and advisors at Ravenna Capital Management currently hold positions in ABB. They do not hold currently hold positions in Bombardier.