WiTricity has announced a partnership with China-based YuTong Bus that will see it supply wireless charging to YuTong’s autonomous e-buses. The project marks what is stated to be the first-ever commercial application of wireless charging for an autonomous electric bus.
Initial deployment will see WiTricity’s wireless charging system installed in YuTong’s Xiaoyu 2.0 autonomous minibus in Zhengzhou, China. The bus benefits from Level 4 autonomy, has a range of 150km and can carry up to 10 passengers.
WiTricity’s Halo chargers remove the need to plug in a physical connection, simplifying the charging process and making the environment safer for drivers and pedestrians as there are no longer any trip hazards caused by long cables. The companies believe that as transit applications for autonomous shuttles and buses grow worldwide, wireless charging will play a key role in keeping these vehicles on the road.
“We are so excited to see this first real demonstration with YuTong Bus of wireless charging powering autonomy at scale,” said Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity. “As autonomy progresses, the logistics of charging and servicing will become even more critical. WiTricity wireless EV charging can enable the next generation of electrified transportation and logistics.”
The Yutong buses are stated to be the first demonstration of wireless charging with autonomous commercial vehicles. Partnership sees commercial deployment of wireless charging of autonomous electric buses in China