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UK Road-test Electric Highways

2015-08-17 14:00:00 +0100 by Sarah Kerr

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Highways England and Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced this week, that Off-road trials of “dynamic wireless power transfer” technology are expected to start later this year and run for 18 months.

The new technology will allow electric cars to recharge on the move, negating the need to stop for hours on the road-side to recharge.

In very basic terms, there will be power lines connected to transmitters under the road surface, which will communicate with receivers within the car.  The action of driving down the designated lane of a motorway will then recharge the batteries of a properly-equipped electric or hybrid-electric vehicle. 

Since the technology goes under the road, it won’t require building any contraptions above ground that could increase risks of collision or electric shock.

 

The new technology, if successful, would eliminate the problem of long-distance travel, which has dogged the industry up until now. Currently a full charge of BMW’s i3 lasts 81 miles; it’s 84 miles for the Nissan Leaf and 38 miles for the Chevy Volt. 

Those capabilities are Ok for daily commutes, but inadequate for long distance travel. 

Recharging without stopping could revolutionise electric car travel.

Charging roads could pair well with another developing technologies, such at solar roads, being tested by the Dutch SolaRoad bike path and in the U.S. Solar Roadways

 

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