Everyone has found themselves in the dire situation – you’re on the last bus home, your phone is out of battery and you forgot your charger. However a new partnership between bus manufacturers Optare and Aircharge could make this a thing of the past.

MetroDecker Optare

Wireless charging will soon be available on bus routes across London, Reading, Leeds and Yorkshire following a partnership between Optare and Aircharge.

The North Yorkshire-based bus manufacturer will begin deploying Aircharge’s wireless charging pods in their latest bus models across the UK, including the Metrodecker double decker, which is in service in Reading and the Versa model.

The wireless charging feature will be free to use for passengers of the bus routes and works by simply placing a Qi, or wireless power enabled device, on the charging pad – with no need for a plug or wire.

Wireless charging pads on an Optare bus

Robert Drewery, commercial director at Optare, said: “At Optare we are committed to using the latest technologies in bus design and manufacturing to deliver the vehicles of today and tomorrow.

“Wireless charging is the future of charging mobile phones and Aircharge is the perfect partner to drive this innovation in the transport sector.”

The charging system is currently compatible with 130 smartphones including the latest iPhone, Samsung, Google, LG, Sony and Huawei models.

Steve Liquorish, CEO and founder of Aircharge, said: “The transport sector represents a perfect opportunity for wireless charging integration, eliminating the fear of running out of battery when you’re on the go.”


How does Aircharge wireless charging work?

Aircharge uses the Qi, which is the universal standard for wireless charging.

It is already compatible with a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, smart watches and kitchen appliances.

Iphone charging wirelessly with Aircharge
Iphone charging wirelessly with Aircharge

Wireless charging uses the principle of inductive charging, where an electromagnetic field passes electrical power from coils in the charging pad to those in a devices battery.

The concept has been used for electric toothbrushes for years but its potential is only now beginning to be realised for our handheld devices.

The makers claim that it is safer than plugging your phone into the mains, the Aircharge website explains that inductive charging “operates over a very short distance and transmits power without contact to exposed electrical connectors, reducing the risk of failure or the possibility of electric shocks”.

Aircharge is available in branches of McDonald’s, YO! Sushi, Costa Coffee, Premier Inn, IBIS and Novotel.