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New wave of electric buses developed at USU

LOGAN – A battery-powered bus that recharges every time it drives over a charge plate has been developed and tested by researchers at Utah State University.

The technology is currently being commercialized by Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE), a startup that was spun out at USU.

“Those of us here at WAVE, both on the business development side as well as a significant number of engineers, were originally USU employees, within their division that focuses on wireless charging,” said WAVE Vice President James May, a co-founder of the company.

May was careful to emphasize WAVE does not manufacture the bus. They create the charging infrastructure.

“We consider the technology we manufacture to be facilitating for electric bus use. If you think of an electric bus driving around with a battery on-board, it has to be an enormous battery in order to get that electric bus through its daily duty cycle.

“If you can charge that battery while the vehicle is driving its duty cycle throughout the day, then you can extend the range of that bus significantly. So we don’t build electric buses, we do pride ourselves in enabling the use of electric buses in applications where they otherwise wouldn’t be available.”

May said the duty cycles for transit agencies can range upwards of 150 to 200 miles a day.

He described WAVE’s development of charge plates to power the buses.
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