Wireless and emission free: the Park City Council recently approved a demonstration project in conjunction with the Energy Dynamics Lab, a nonprofit research corporation owned by Utah State University, to make the Main Street Trolley electric. However, being electric isn’t the coolest thing about the proposal, it's how it will charge.
The project will feature Inductive Power Transfer Technology (IPTT) to wirelessly transmit electricity from sub-surface charging stations directly to a vehicle. This is the same type of technology that powers your electric toothbrush, but on a grand scale. About 20% of the trolley route would need to be electrified through the installation of sub-surface charging infrastructure which charges at over 90% efficiency. This type of charging overcomes the Achilles’ heel typically associated with the battery components of electric vehicles such as slow charging times and limits in travel range.
This type of technology has been implemented in Italy, New Zealand and South Korea, but the Park City project will be the first of its kind in North America. IPTT is a potentially transformative technology on numerous fronts for the transportation sector and the Historic Main Street Trolley is right at the heart it.