Japanese scientists explore electric roads for EVs

Masahiro Hanazawa of Toyota Central R&D Labs and Takashi Ohira from Toyohashi University are working on a solution for avoiding battery recharge headaches in powering electric cars. They are working on a prototype of electric cars that are powered by the road itself–electric roads for electric cars. While the idea of cars powered from the ground is not new, the system that they propose is an interesting way to power electric cars as the cars travel along the road through steel belts placed inside tires and a metal plate in the road.

Toyohashi University newsletter report describes their system: “The source of energy from power lines is up-converted into radio frequency (RF) by high-speed inverters implanted along tracks in the road. The RF voltage is applied to a balanced metal track embedded under the surface of the road. The EV picks up the RF voltage via electrical capacitance between the metal and a steel belt installed inside of the tires of the EV.”

In their experiments, the researchers put small metal plates on the floor and inside a tire, and positioned another metal plate above the tire. They measured the electrical impedance between the two plates. The team presented their work in May at the International Microwave Workshop Series on Innovative Wireless Power Transmission in Kyoto, Japan. While their tests involved low voltages, the researchers believe energy transfer from the road to a running automobile is feasible. With enough power the system could run typical passenger cars, says Ohira.

Their system would require smaller battery packs, rather than heavier packs, to get back and forth from electrified highways, which is viewed as a benefit as well.

via Japanese scientists explore electric roads for EVs.

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3 Responses to Japanese scientists explore electric roads for EVs

  1. Belkin says:

    Just like in Minority Report! I wonder if there is a connection. After all, a lot of futuristic Science Fiction ideas from long ago are becoming actualities. And often it’s the sci-fi stories that give people the ideas! Take Nike’s line of shoes inspired by the futuristic ones worn by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future 2. Even the name ‘worm’ for a computer virus comes from scifi (The Schockwave Rider, John Brunner). He anticipated cyber warfare, and now cyber security is a huge deal.

  2. alfy says:

    Presumably this precludes travel in country districts, along with piped gas supplies? Still, they have tractors, and horses.

  3. Deskarati says:

    Electric horses. Now there’s an idea!

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