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Mass. Transit Agency Becomes First to Convert All Diesel Buses to Electric

Vineyard Transit Authority. Image courtesy of VTA.


Momentum Dynamics, a charging technology company for the electric automotive and transportation industries, recently announced that Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) has approved the purchase of high-power wireless charging systems from Momentum Dynamics to support zero-emission electric transit buses. VTA serves the community of Martha’s Vineyard and is the first transit agency in Massachusetts with plans to convert all diesel buses to battery electric.

Three co-located 200 kilowatt (kW) wireless charging systems will be installed at the Church Street Visitors Center in Edgartown, MA in time for the island’s 2019 tourist season. Smart charging capabilities provide the VTA with the tools to manage utility load during wireless charging events. Additionally, VTA is installing 250-500 kWh battery storage systems to allow the VTA Maintenance and Operations Center to operate as a microgrid optimized to charge electric vehicles. As the VTA transitions to a fully-electric bus fleet, on-route charging sites will be added, each of which will operate as an independent microgrid, supported by energy storage.

Momentum Dynamics’ wireless charging systems will be retrofitted into the first 10 BYD electric buses in VTA’s fleet. The system has a proven 94% efficiency from utility to battery, providing on-route high power charging, critical in converting VTA’s fleet to battery electric buses. Installed in the roadway, on-route charging allows buses to be recharged multiple times each day during scheduled stops. In as little as five minutes, the buses can receive enough energy to fuel a complete circulation loop.  This practice enables unlimited driving range.

The high-power inductive bus charging system at VTA will become the third installation in North America to operate at over 200 kW. Momentum is currently working to install additional systems in the US and Europe as part of a massive movement to transition to electric vehicles.

A July report noted that The United States will need to add 14 million new electric vehicles and 330,000 new public charging outlets by the end of 2025 to reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector and meet the country’s original Paris Agreement target. This is according to a report from the Center for American Progress (CAP). Many states are well on their way to having the public charging infrastructure needed, but the CAP points out that the country needs significantly more investment to meet the goal.


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