In the South Korean city of Gumi the first two electric buses that are powered by cables installed under the roadway have started their first day of work. Such Electro buses use the OLEV technology, which eliminates the need for costly heavy batteries and makes the process of their recharging simple and fast.
The system OLEV was developed by the Korea Institute of Science and New Technologies. It implies that the cables are hidden under the roadway, that way they create a magnetic field, which is located underneath the electric bus where its receivers convert it into the electric flow. Simple as that, such technology significantly simplifies the process of fueling the public transport that previously used massive batteries.
There are two types of this system that exist today. Each one of the cables is arranged all over electric road in the firs system, and the other one has them placed in certain areas only.
In this case there’s also a small battery, which from time to time receives a strong charge from the ground. The advantages of this system are that the cable only needs from 5 to 15% of the roadway space. Such installation doesn’t even need to stop the usual road flow.
For now only two electric busses drive through a 24-kilometer circular route in the downtown of Gumi. The route is placed between the train station and the area called Indon. The distance from the road to the bottom of the bus is maintained at a height of 17 cm, and the total power that Electro bus receives from the network is 100 kW or 136 hp. It is stated that this system is safe for other cars and pedestrians, as the electromagnetic field appears only when one of the buses is present on the road. The innovative electric line also saves energy. Korean system represents the first time such technology is used in public transport on a regular basis. Gumi City is planning to launch 10 more electric buses in the future (by the end of 2014) increasing the routes of such transport into all parts of the city.