Thanks to Elon Musk and the boys and girls at Tesla, electric cars are going mainstream in a big way. However, even the most dedicated environment-loving, eco-nut must have fantasized about being stuck in the middle of the desert with the nearest electrical outlet hundreds of miles away. But, for all those paranoid-stricken environmentalists out there, Toshiba has got your back.
The Japanese tech giant is currently testing a new lithium-ion battery and revolutionary, contactless charging station on a airport bus route. According to Toshiba, the 45-seater will be making the rounds from Kawaski to Haneda Airport until December between getting it’s battery filled up by the new charging station.
Utilizing a process called magnetic resonance, the bus just has to stop over the charging pad and at the press of a button, a magnetic field will transfer power from the chargers to the battery without any wires or manual contact whatsoever. What’s more, it only takes fifteen minutes for the battery to go from 0-100. Compare that to how long it takes to charge your cellphone.
Developed with the help of Professor Yushi Kamiya from Waseda University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, the magnetic resonance system can charge up Toshiba’s SCiB battery at least 15,000 times without any degrade in quality or battery life.
“I think we have developed a high-quality system by combining the new, convenient contactless charger with a high-power SCiB™ suited to frequent charging,” said Professor Kamiya. “I look forward to the field testing, as it will be the first time where a bus charged in this way has operated on the expressway. I am confident that the results will make a useful contribution to the promotion of EV (electric vehicle) buses.”
While this bus sounds almost as magical as the one from a certain children’s show, there is a downside. This initial model will require fairly frequent charging, so don’t expect magnetic resonance stations to replace gas stations any time soon.