BBC Future Wireless highway charges electric cars as they go

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Interesting » Electric Cars

Wireless highway charges cars as they go

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are still betting on a bright for electric cars, despite a response to the latest offerings.

works. Inconsiderate drivers. Today’s drivers have fair share of stress But now there is a new malaise for the modern range anxiety.

That is the given to drivers of electric that are struck by the sudden that their vehicle not have enough charge to its destination. Most of us have that sinking feeling the little orange indicator comes on to tell us we are low on petrol, but is not a gas station in sight. Imagine combined with the feeling you get when your cellphone beeping because the battery is and you are nowhere near a plug.

That gets you close to the of range anxiety.

It is an interesting particularly when you begin to at how many of us actually use our cars. to the US Bureau of Transportation Studies. 78% of do less than 40 miles a day a trivial distance for many of electric cars.

In fact, the child of electric cars the has a range of 300 miles (485km) some batteries.

According to, Dr Sassoon, of Stanford University, are “three main reasons” many of us choose the internal engine over its cleaner, alternative.

“One is the short that an electric vehicle can between charges, and that’s on the size of the battery,” he said. second is the lack of a sufficient infrastructure, and the third is that if you can charge, it takes a long to charge several hours. means you’re going to to take a break in your in order to charge your

Researchers and firms are trying to all of these problems. Firms, as Better Place. have building battery “switching that allow drivers to in and swap their batteries as as filling up with gas, countless researchers are developing efficient batteries.

But Dr Sasson there may be another answer: roads.

Engineers in his lab are developing a way to charge electric cars magnetic coils embedded the road. The car would pick up the via another coil, meaning in that you would never to make a charging stop

The system works using a called “magnetic resonance You can think about resonance as the that allows an opera to smash a glass using the power of their voice. In case, when the singer a note that has the same frequency as the glass, they and energy begins to build up in the eventually causing it to smash.

Instead of using acoustic the Stanford team use the resonance of waves. A coil in the road is connected to a power line is to vibrate with the same frequency as the coil on the bottom of the allowing energy to flow them.


Traffic charge

It on pioneering work done at MIT in which showed the technique be used in stationary situations, to televisions and other gadgets. The system now claims to have the efficiency dramatically. They come up with designs of that allow 97% efficient of power over a distance of 2m (6ft).

Interesting » Electric Cars

Using models, they they can transfer up to 10kW of

“That number is about the we’d probably want to to vehicles” says Dr Sasoon.

And to this principle into a “recharging road” is not as difficult as it he says.

Road beds are of asphalt or concrete, but there is a lot of steel in the roads — a lot of a lot of ties between the segments of the and so on,” he said. What we to do is use that to our advantage.

He believes could use much of the metal in the as part of the transmitter, and then the would use the metal of the car body, avoiding too many extra components.

It may take years, if not decades, roads are retrofitted in this But various firms, including an MIT called WiTricity. are already the first steps by building stations for car parks, garages and And it has already caught the attention of car including Toyota, Mitsubishi and

“We aim to offer our customers a recharging method easy to use and automatic, with no mechanical said Dr. Bjorn Elias of Electronics Venture GmbH a subsidiary of the car company that is with WiTricity, recently. you park the car, its battery be recharged perhaps even at signals.”

Audi and others are to create a public standard and that the first units for use in will go into production in a few time. At that time, Dr believes, electric cars become the technology of choice, our current love of gas guzzlers and the concept of range anxiety

“You never need to about stopping and filling he said.

Of course just our cars can carry on forever not mean that we will to. I do not think I can go more than a of hundred miles without and a bathroom break. A whole kind of range anxiety

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