Electric Vehicle on Electrified Roadway wireless chargingEnlarge Photo
Many electric car owners consider the debate over charging points all a bit of a fuss.
After all, when the majority of your driving is between home and the office, then charging at one of those two locations will usually suffice. The presence (or otherwise) of chargers at rest stops or spread through your town is a non-issue.
Naturally, not everyone feels the same, and for those who'd like to have their electric car cake and eat it too, it would be nice to do longer distances. Wireless charging is just one of those technologies dedicated to improving longer-distance electric car charging, and one Japanese company thinks you might be able to charge through your tires...
The EVER project (Electric Vehicle on Electrified Roadway) shown on Phys.org, allows electric cars to charge through four inches of concrete--like that used on a typical road--with the vehicle's tires picking up the charge as it rolls along.
As with other wireless electric car charging prototypes it uses wireless field technology, with one element creating a field and the other completing a circuit. In this case, that means a metal plate under the concrete roadway, and steel belts in the tires receiving the charge.
The team's demo doesn't work on the sort of charge that would be required to top-up an electric car--in fact, it was just enough to power a lightbulb--but the demonstration with real concrete and real automobile tires proves the system can work.
Less than 20 percent of the transmitted power is lost, making it surprisingly efficient.
There are hurdles of overcome of course, including ensuring it works at higher power outputs, and then the small issue of developing a road network to support it, but EV fans are used to these sort of blue-sky ideas by now. Many ideas are shown, few are chosen, but anything with a realistic chance of working has a realistic chance of being adopted one day.
And from a utopian perspective, anything that allows electric vehicles to charge without having to stop looks pretty good...