The Real Electronic Superhighway
Stanford researchers develop plan for roads that charge electric cars.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: February 18th, 2012
"You could potentially drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to recharge."
he biggest shortcoming of electric cars is their limited range. Even if e-cars could eke out their claimed 100 miles per charge —which so far they can’t—that’s not really enough to make them practical for most people.
Up till now the goal has been to increase the range, or increase the number of charging stations, but now a team of researchers at Stanford University has come up with an idea that would be a true game-changer if it were ever implemented.
And that idea is electrified roads.
In theory, magnetic fields could transmit electrical currents on the roads, allowing cars to be charged as they travel.
“What makes this concept exciting is that you could potentially drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to recharge,” said study co-author Richard Sassoon, of the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project. “You could actually have more energy stored in your battery at the end of your trip than you started with.”
The technology behind such a scheme would involve metal coils embedded in the road. The coils would be tuned to a specific resonance and could then be used to transmit electricity wirelessly. Nikola Tesla tested this same technology in the late 19th century, so there’s no question it would work. It’s just a question of whether anyone will want to pay for the infrastructure required to electrify the roads.
And of course, the crucial question yet to be asked is, if the chicken crosses the road, will he get fried?