UK Tests Electric Highways: Charge Your Electric Vehicle For Free While You Drive

An electric highway that charges your electric car for free: This could solve the charging problem that has been slowing electric car adoption for years.

The UK is testing out electric highways that can wirelessly charge cars as they drive. The first trials, set for later this year, will use a section of fake highway to test out the technology. After 18 months of testing, they’ll decide whether to scale it up.

The UK already has thousands of plug-in chargers in place along highways and plan to haveĀ  chargers every 20 miles along highways, so drivers don’t have to worry about getting stranded on a road trip.

South Korea already has a 15-mile stretch of electric highway in the city of Gumi.

Fast Company

*** Korea has this in place

Korea has been working on a wireless power transit system designed for charging electric vehicles for some time now, having been testing the system for many months. The system is called OLEV, which stands for Online Electric Vehicles, and works using technology embedded beneath the road. Now a section of highway in South Korea has been launched with the system, bringing it to the public.

The system is pretty ingenious, and works using power cables that are buried beneath the roads (meaning existing roads would need to be pulled up for the system to be implemented). Those cable then work in conjunction with Online Electric Vehicles to charge the cars using magnetic resonance transfer.

Specifically, the technology works by generating 20kHz frequencies into an electromagnetic field. The OLEV vehicles are equipped with regulators and inverters that are compatible with this, turning it into electricity for the motor and bus, something you can see in graph form in the image above. The benefits of this are plenty.

For one thing, the system is free – drivers don’t have to pay for the charge their electric vehicle receives while cruising the road(s). Another benefit, obviously, is that one doesn’t have to park and leave the vehicle plugged in to recharge, and by proxy the car can go farther distances because it is charged as it drives, increasing its overall range.

Slash Gear: 6 Aug 2013

Key Words: Technology

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