Inductive charging devices have been around for some time. We’ve seen them in electric toothbrushes, mobile phones and other household items. However, with the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), governments are taking a closer look at their road infrastructures and determining the viability of using this tech to charge cars as they pass by. Recent reports have revealed the UK has ponied up nearly $800 million to build roads that charge EVs. If successful, it could overturn two of the biggest drawbacks of electric vehicles, their limited range and the time it takes to charge them.
How will it work?
Inductive charging is accomplished by generating a varying electromagnetic field in one device that is received by another device through an inductive coupling. That device is then able to use this energy to charge its batteries. In other words, the two devices don’t need to be physically connected provided they are close enough for the electromagnetic field to reach the device that needs charging. This is relatively straightforward for something stationary like the Sonicare toothbrush, which comes with a charging glass to place it in after each use. However, applications for something that’s moving can present a whole new set of challenges.
The UK has already used something similar to run public transportation in certain areas. The new initiative is expected to use cables buried beneath the road to generate the electromagnetic field. Since the cars traveling above it will be moving at high velocity and only some of them being EVs, a communication system is being considered between the system and the car to trigger the process and prevent waste. The project will likely begin in 2016 and the first trials will be held on private roads to test its viability.
Impact on the EV Market
If the technology proves viable, it would certainly alleviate some of the range paranoia currently affecting the electric vehicle market. When an EV is running low on charge, the operator could just slide over to the specially prepared lane and pick up a little extra juice to make it to the next charging station. As the technology may not be sufficient to replace all of the energy the EV is expending as it travels, it’s crucial that governments continue to develop their charging station infrastructure as well. Combined with continued improvements in battery technology, EVs could see a big boost in sales in the future.
- Tkt.ninja: One Gig, One Day, One Location - September 3, 2015
- LikeThat Style: Visual Recognition App - August 28, 2015
- Startup Stash - August 20, 2015
Karen Knight says
Great use for the technology that we have lying around here all day. The cost to build a road like this is going to have to be thought about very closely for ANY state or federal department to even consider it.
Norman Orr says
The fact that the two devices that are included in the situation do not have to be connected should be a win-win for the design team. That really opens up the doors to the possibility to implement in many ways.
Esther Green says
Do we have any update on this story? I am going to do some research and see what I can find out.
Debra Case says
I was looking for an update as well. I cannot find one.
Improve Credit says
I just like the valuable info you supply for your articles.
I’ll bookmark your blog and check once more here regularly.
I am quite certain I will be informed a lot of new stuff right
here! Best of luck for the next!
Charles Ford says
Thank you for the well wishes.
Trains have been doing something like this for many years, Linear some thing, I seem to recall.
Jerry Bearden says
Oh yeah, I read about that one day. Makes sense and we have so many miles of roads out there, we should be putting them to go use like this!
When I had my first electric train set in the 1940’s dad explained to me that an electric motor was almost the same as a generator I said why can’t one run the other he said that was perpetual motion, and could not work as seven year old at the time I think I was on to something.
Shannon Baker says
Great idea. Do I think it is something that I will see worldwide? Nope. Sometimes things like this fizzle due to costs and I think that will be the death of this one.
Jo Grimaldo says
It is a great idea and of course it could be implemented around the world. It will be interesting to see how other countries take on this task and where the roads are installed.
As cool as it sounds (which gives me goosebumps), I’m kinda guessing it’s also a way to keep track of the number of cars on EV plying roads in the UK per time. #smartguys That way, they can draw up data pretty fast as well and still sort the lanes (fueled vs EVs) 🙂 #thinking
This is awesome! Great technology for the win again. I am just going to bring up cost to install and maintain this type of road. I am sure it is not cheap!
David Frost says
I must be honest. This is NOT something that I saw coming. However, it does make sense. We have wireless charging stations for our smartphones and things like that, why wouldn’t there be a road that can charge our cars while we drive on it? 🙂