published Friday, September 23rd, 2011

CARTA seeks grants to wirelessly recharge Chattanooga busses

CARTA's electric shuttle is recharged at the wireless facility at test track. The Chattanooga transit authority is seeking $2.4 million in federal grants to buy more of the buses to try out the technology on Chattanooga streets.
CARTA's electric shuttle is recharged at the wireless facility at test track. The Chattanooga transit authority is seeking $2.4 million in federal grants to buy more of the buses to try out the technology on Chattanooga streets.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Chattanooga's electric-powered buses could be quickly recharged at the end of every route if a new wireless technology is funded and proves successful.

The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority is seeking a $2.4 million federal grant to match $600,000 of state and local funds to buy three new buses and test a wireless recharging system on Chattanooga streets.

"If this proves successful to give enough charge in a short enough time and is durable enough, this has the potential of helping to operate our buses on traditional routes without diesel fuel," CARTA Executive Director Tom Dugan said.

CARTA operates one of the nation's largest fleets of battery-powered buses. It tested the equipment at the UTC vehicle test track near the Chickamauga Dam.

The $100,000 coils and charging equipment are about the size of a dining room table and are sunk in the ground. The bus recharges by lowering its recharging equipment to within a few inches of the coils, Dugan said.

"With a lithium-iodide phosphorus battery technology, we can put a battery pack in a bus with these new wireless rechargers at a low enough cost to replace a diesel bus on a standard city route," said Albert E. Curtis III, the founder and president of EVAmerica. "It could recharge any time you need it to at the end of each route."

The Federal Transit Administration is expected to decide by the end of the year upon requests from CARTA and hundreds of other applicants seeking part of $49.8 million set aside by Congress last year for the Transit Improvement in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction program.

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about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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KWVeteran said...

The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority is seeking a $2.4 million federal grant The greed mentality continues with good democrats... even Republicans are not immune. Something for nothing? Doesn't exist.

September 23, 2011 at 7:19 a.m.
lightkeeper said...

Great idea.......the question I have is will these battery operated buses remain free like the shuttles that run downtown? , but Kwvet although something for nothing may not {in a sense} exists, there are benifits for example, no emissions for a cleaner environment, having Chattanooga as a national test model, that one day will truly put us on the map, something we can really be proud of...the only thing Iam not proud of is no matter what the city and county leaders do....you always have a bunch of negative backward minded supposedly intelligent hillbillys in this area that never have anything good to say about anything in the name of progress, one of the things I believe is holding this metro City back.

September 23, 2011 at 10:36 a.m.
lightkeeper said...

payattention, you need to pay more attention, the last metro survey indicated that most people in the "city" had enought sense to know they lived in a metro county and wanted a metro gov. Having a city and county gov. having to pay both city and county property tax, because of an old outdated conservative idea that its big gov is absurd, this area has grown beyond that, one gov body is better than two is much more conservative, that lets me know me know that you know nothing about living in a metro area because of your political views and also lets me know that you don't understand what being really put on the map means unles your just trying to be a smart a_ _ thats why I'll say again this wonderful beautiful metro city has to be 30 held 30 years behind oter metro areas with that typ of thinking

September 23, 2011 at 8:59 p.m.
lightkeeper said...

at work, please excuse the typo's in previous comment post

September 23, 2011 at 10:14 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I like the idea of electric powered transportation, but when you need a 2.4 million dollar grant before you can justify purchasing that type of equipment you know something does not make sense economically and the technology is not ready for prime time.

I guess it is better than spending 2.4 million to put 300 bicycles on the streets of Chattanooga...

September 23, 2011 at 10:47 p.m.
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