The UK Is Testing Out Roads That Charge Electric Cars
To wirelessly go where no electric car has gone, before.
A trial in England is hoping to significantly boost the range of electric cars by introducing roads that can charge the vehicles as they drive along them.
Highways England announced last week that it is embarking on an 18-month scheme to trial charging lanes after completing an early feasibility study.
During these trials, vehicles will be fitted with wireless technology and special equipment will be installed beneath roads to replicate motorway conditions. Electric cables buried under the surface will generate electromagnetic fields, which will be picked up by a coil inside the device and converted into electricity.
If the tests go well, the new highways would add to the existing network of plug-in chargers, and make it even simpler to fuel up a Tesla than a standard gas-guzzling car. “This has the benefit of saving time and improving the distance that electric vehicles can travel,” says Nic Brunetti, a spokesman for Highways England. “The combination of both types of charging technologies could help to create a comprehensive ecosystem for electric vehicles.”
Off road trials are set to take place later this year; full details will be revealed once a contractor has been appointed. There will be a potential followup on real roads.
“Vehicle technologies are advancing at an ever increasing pace and we’re committed to supporting the growth of ultra-low emissions vehicles on England’s motorways and major A roads,” Mike Wilson, Highways England’s chief highways engineer, said. ”
The off-road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country.”