OLEV Technologies announced that its On-line Electric Vehicle Bus Project for the city of McAllen, Texas has been selected for funding through the Federal Transportation Administration TIGGER (Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction) grant program. The objective of the project is to run electric buses utilizing OLEV's proprietary technology, which delivers electric power wirelessly from the roadbed, allowing the buses to charge wirelessly both during operation and while they pause to load and unload passengers. Three diesel buses from theMcAllen City Bus fleet will be retrofitted to run on electric power. The project is scheduled to launch in 2012 and be completed by 2013.
The city of McAllen will implement OLEV's electric bus technology on one of its central city bus routes to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The project will be funded through a $1.9 million grant utilizing TIGGER III funds, along with an additional $211,000 from the city of McAllen. The Federal Transit Administration selected McAllen's OLEV Bus project from among 266 applications to the TIGGER III grant program, which awarded $112 million to 46 projects nationwide. TIGGER III grants were competitively awarded based on the ability of projects to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while providing a return on the investment.
Dr. Hikyu Lee, President and CEO of OLEV Technologies said, "This project will demonstrate the overall effectiveness of using enroute-charging technology to create an effective 'electronic roadway', as well as the cost effective means of converting buses from the existing diesel fleet to electric vehicles." According to Lee, OLEV technology will also result in an annual greenhouse gas reduction of 289 tons of CO2, with a total reduction in CO2 of 3,455 tons over the lifetime of the project. Projected annual energy savings will amount to 2,596 Million BTUs, with a total 31,149 Million BTUs saved over the lifetime of the project.
"We are delighted that our technology has been selected for funding to showcase the near-term and long-term benefits of electric buses via wireless power transfer technology, a zero tailpipe emission green transportation solution," said Lee. We received very strong support from our Senator, John Kerry (D – Mass.), and we're grateful for the efforts he and his staff put forward on our behalf," he added.
"Using cutting edge technology to help our residents with transportation is very exciting," said McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez. "It is an honor to be selected for such a competitive grant, and we are very appreciative of our Congressman Henry Cuellar's efforts to secure these funds for McAllen. This is a big investment that will pay off for all of us."
Congressman Cuellar (D, TX-28) commented, "The on line electric vehicle technology is the first of its kind to be used in the United States. Mayor Cortez and his Transit Director Elizabeth Suarez thought of innovative ways to reduce energy consumption, thereby positively impacting the local economy. I congratulatethem for their vision and dedication in securing this grant."
"It is about improving the environment," said city of McAllen Transit Director Elizabeth Suarez, who overseesMcAllen's bus fleet noting that the project is a joint partnership with the McAllen Economic Development Corporation, South Texas College along with OLEV Technologies. "We will have a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which means less pollution. It will save us money. We will save about 80 percent of our diesel bill," Suarez said.
OLEV technology was originally invented at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). President Nam-Pyo Suh of KAIST said, "We are excited to learn that McAllen, Texas will add OLEV buses to their public transportation services in order to make the city cleaner and greener and to improve energy efficiency. This iscertainly an encouraging endeavor for other communities around the world toemulate. On our side, we will continuously fine-tune OLEV's core technology including the SMFIR (Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance) technology so that it can be widely adapted to other areas of research and industry development such as road automation, next generation transportation system, and consumer electronics."