Researchers at Utah State University have brought inductive charging to US mass transit with an electric bus capable of recharging itself at each stop. As Wired reports, charging plates underneath each stop routinely juice up the battery inside the bus at several points along its route. Better still, drivers don't need to worry about perfect alignment each time they approach passengers: the induction system was designed so that even if a bus is off target by up to six inches, it still charges at a 90-percent efficiency rate.
One prototype bus has already hit the road, according to the news first made public last month, and those behind the project are aiming to have a commercial vehicle on the market soon. The US has been slow going in adopting such measures; similar charging schemes have been developed by experts in Korea, Italy, and the Netherlands. Regardless, it's another milestone as environmentalists continue to push for fewer harmful emissions and a solution to our dependency on fuel. USU will be first college campus to debut such a bus in 2013.