Electric buses are still not very common but they may be so in the coming days. Toshiba has announced plans that it will be developing such electric buses which will take a mere five minutes to recharge. This can be a huge step forward in electric-power-based vehicles. According to Toshiba, this will be 1/4th of the time taken by the lithium-ion cells to recharge.
However, as rosy as this may seem, there is a catch to such an electric bus. The five minutes’ recharge time that Toshiba is touting is actually possible only when the bus has above 50 percent charging.
Given the fact that a full recharge can allow the bus to run for some 25 kilometers, if it is has to recharge just before its charging drops below 50 percent, it will have to recharge every 12 kilometers. Now that can be a huge obstruction to the otherwise efficiency of the bus.
The buses will be developed in collaboration with Minato Ward. The new buses will not be all new in themselves. Rather, Toshiba will be installing the technology in already existent buses. Toshiba claims that despite the frequent charging the batteries will require, they will be able to last longer than the batteries of most devices.
Given the mere 12-kilometer limit before a recharge, the company plans to test the buses initially in the residential areas where distances are not too long. Once the trail run goes on smoothly, a full fleet of such buses will then be introduced in 2013.