The UK is Testing Roads that Charge Electric Cars as They Drive

In England werden auf der Autobahn Spuren mit Induktivladung für Hybrid und Elektrofahrzeuge getestet.

As Tesla Motors is breaking down all the barriers and shaking up the automotive industry, it is becoming clear that electric cars will indeed be the future of transportation.  After Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s patents will now be open source (available for everyone), you can expect to see a fairly quick transition from gas and diesel cars to electric.  In fact, we kind of have to transition quickly to lower our carbon output and reduce effects of climate change.  You like breathing clean air anyway…right?

But what about charging?  The perception is that it is longer and more inconvenient than a typical gas station top off.  The general public is still weary about electric vehicles because they fear the range is too short per charge, and charging stations are slow, and few and far between.

How can we combat these fears and move forward to a cleaner future?  New and ingenious technology of course! The British government is beginning to roll out the testing phase of a new technology that could quickly end the charging fears, and encourage the purchase and use of more electric cars.

Imagine that as you drive your electric car down the highway, the road itself is wirelessly charging your vehicle while on the move.  No stopping, no hooking up to chargers, no waiting 30 minutes to re-juice your car…just trouble free charging as you drive.  So would you rather stop at a gas station and stand at the pump dribbling gasoline on your shoes, or effortlessly charge your beautiful electric car while traveling 70 mph?  Kind of a no brainer.

How does it work?  Under the road would be wireless magnetic induction technology, which is similar to wireless phone chargers.  The cables that they bury under the road would use a communication system to sense the presence of an electric car, and generate electromagnetic fields that would be picked up by a receiver within each vehicle and turned into electric power.

Yes this is possible, and yes…this is expensive.  Over the next 5 or so years, this charging technology will be tested on restricted roads designated for this purpose, costing the British government the USD equivalent of $779 million.  While this project is running the British government will continue expanding charging stations until they reach the milestone of having one every 20 miles.

The UK is making a real effort here to keep up with quickly improving clean technologies to reduce emissions and combat climate change.  It seems they are smart enough to know that sinking $779 million into a research project is far cheaper than trying to repair damages from natural disasters caused by climate change.  We hope other countries are paying attention.

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