Hitachi has unveiled a magnetic-levitation bullet train prototype with its own wireless power supply.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the maglev is capable of generating its onboard power from inductive charging, the same technology that wirelessly recharges smartphones.
Regarding the prototype that can achieve speeds of 500 kph, Motoaki Terai – who oversees Operator Central Japan Railway’s (JR Tokai) maglev development, said that they’ve come 80 to 90% toward commercial operation.
The Chūbu region railway operator is hoping to begin maglev services between Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027.
According to the Nikkei, the original L0 series maglev contained gas turbine generators that delivered some power for the interior lighting and air conditioning systems.
The Hitachi prototype however does away with the turbines and instead relies entirely on coils installed on the train and along the tracks to generate electricity.
This has in turn given birth to a lighter, more streamlined end car that was put on display at Hitachi’s Kasado Works in Kudamatsu, a city southwest of Hiroshima.
While the nose of the original L0 looked flat, the prototype nose features a lengthy bridge.
The new maglev dons dark blue stripes bearing a close resemblance to JR Tokai’s Tokaido shinkansen bullet train connecting Tokyo with Osaka.
According to the Nikkei, Hitachi is building the end cars while Nippon Sharyo is manufacturing the intermediate carriages.
It creators contend that the maglev can complete the entire 236 km trip in as little as 40 minutes. The ultimate goal is to export the technology to the U.S.
Image and content: Annu Nishioka/Nikkei Asian Review