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Beyond the News

It's Electric

University Business, July/August 2012

The University of Utah will launch a fleet of electric buses this fall to shuttle some 47,000 students, staff, and administrators around its 1,500-acre campus. Forty buses, similar to the one pictured here, have been ordered from BYD, a Chinese company that is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles. The drawback to electric buses in the past has been battery weight. But the BYD buses use a much lighter rechargeable battery, so they can carry more passengers. And, in a nod to university entrepreneurship and collaboration, the batteries will be recharged by a product developed by nearby Utah State University. The school has created Energy Pads, remote, wireless charging stations that will be strategically placed under asphalt around campus. The pads can recharge batteries in a matter of minutes.