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RTA starts trial run of dynamic charging of electric vehicles and buses using magnetic resonance technology in DSO COURTESY RTA Image Credit:

Dubai: Electric buses and vehicles in Dubai can now be charged while parked on the road and in motion.

This follows after the announcement on Wednesday by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of the successful test-run of dynamic wireless charging of electric vehicles and buses in motion using the Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR) technology.

The wireless charging SMFIR technology provides a solution to problems of batteries and charging infrastructure.

“The initial phase covers preparing the infrastructure and laying an embedded power-charging grid underneath a 60-metre road strip at the Dubai Silicon Oasis for the dynamic wireless charging of electric vehicles and buses in motion,” said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA.

“The RTA has tested an electric vehicle and a bus on this path, and results proved a highly efficient wireless charging system comparable with the cable charging. Moreover, the electromagnetic level on board was within the accepted global range,” he added.

Charging stations

Al Tayer explained SMFIR technology “enables seamless operation of the vehicle without any stopping at charging stations. Embedded under the road, the technology is invisible and as such has no visual pollution impact on the city. It also does not hamper the movement of people and vehicles like on-road cable chargers.”

He added the initiative promotes the use of environmentally-friendly vehicles and sustainable transport means. It complements Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, Dubai Plan 2021, and the UAE Vision 2021

“We are always keen on exploring the latest trends of global technology of manufacturing buses, batteries and charging systems with a view to deploying electric buses in future and providing safe, smooth and sustainable public transit means,” Al Tayer underlined.

The RTA conducted the test in collaboration with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), said: “The SMIFR technology will support Dubai’s sustainability drive. Dubai is one of the leading cities in renewable and clean energy, and a pioneer in innovating modern techniques to rationalise the use of natural resources and find alternative solutions for conventional energy sources. This initiative will help increase the number of electric vehicles in Dubai, which is already witnessing a steady increase.

He also noted that DEWA has installed over 240 charging stations for electric vehicles across Dubai, with plans to increase the number to 300 by the end of 2020.

DEWA has likewise extended the free charging period for electric vehicle until end of 2021. The incentive applies to non-commercial users who register for the EV Green Charger initiative and is exclusive to DEWA’s public charging stations.

Meanwhile, the RTA is converting 90 per cent of Dubai limos into environmentally-friendly (hybrid-electric) vehicles by 2026 and 50 per cent of Dubai taxis into hybrid vehicles by 2021. It has also launched the trial run of the first electric taxi powered by hydrogen fuel cells as part of the Dubai Taxi fleet.

Benefits and how it works

  • Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR) technology transfers a large amount of energy wirelessly from the road surface to electric vehicles while they are running or stationary
  • The power grid is embedded under the road and does not hamper the movement of people and vehicles
  • The technology limits the need for remote static charging stations and replaces them with charging infrastructure embedded in the road or highway system.
  • The wireless charging SMFIR technology provides a solution to problems of batteries and charging infrastructure.