Alternative Energy road-charging

Published on April 26th, 2013 | by Andrew Meggison

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Wireless Charging May Cure Range Anxiety

 road-chargingRange anxiety has become a common issue for drivers of electric vehicles. Thankfully a number of companies are exploring solutions around the world, including wireless, in-road charging..

Range anxiety is really a problem only for drivers of EVs. Thankfully top minds are getting to work on solutions. Public charging stations could solve the problem, but there are other ideas out there as well.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), in Daejeon, have developed what is being called the on-line electric vehicle (OLEV) system. The idea is to implant transmitting coils in roadway. EVs would then have a receiving coil as part of the design. This would allow the EV to charge as they travel on the road. A cool idea. So cool in fact that California tried to apply his concept of wireless power transmission to automobiles in 1994.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, established the Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways project in 1994 and were successful in capturing 65% of the injected power. The California project embedded transmitting coils in the road and placed receiving coils on the underside of a test vehicle. The gap between the receiving coil and the transmitting coil in the road was about 7.5 centimeters. Basically the same idea as OLEV system.

So why do we not have this wireless charging style of system in place now? A system that we made in 1994. Well, it seems that capturing 65% of the injected power was not enough to bring the system to market and there were problems with hanging receiving coils.

For what it is worth the California project got the ball moving on wireless charging. In addition to the OLEV system MIT professors and graduates have set up a Massachusetts start-up, WiTricity Corp., that is working with several car companies on wireless charging stations for households. Quebec’s Bombardier is developing what it calls the Primove system in Europe with the goal to transmit power to public buses wirelessly. A similar system already exists at a zoo in South Korea. The South Korean system that does a 2.2-km loop on a roadway with embedded coils and travels around the zoo. That particular system cost $550,000.

Obviously there are cost and infrastructure issues associated with setting up a wireless charging system for our nation’s EVs. However, in a time were American jobs, job training, and skill building is needed such an ambitious project could amount to a modern day CCC – which is just what our nation needs to get moving again.

Source: news.discovery.com

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison 


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About the Author

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor's Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master's Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison



  • Rowland Williams

    What strikes me here is that all that is needed are short segments of charging on long-range freeways, such as X miles of charging per every Y miles of freeway. Or am I wrong? At 65% efficiency, how many miles of charge is gathered per mile of road? Is it 1 to 1 or is their an overcapacity that can be accumulated as one drives over the charge?

    • Greg

      also think, if it would need to be plugged in for 4 hours to reach full charge at a high speed charging station, traveling 60mph would equate to 240miles of road… but at only 65% efficiency well that would add more miles… So I think lots of road would need it…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Miller/100000952005408 Bruce Miller

    High Volt Electric Car
    Higher frequencies and nano carbon super capacitors – higher voltages – less obsession by American engineers with Li Chemical storage systems of high amperage and very low voltages – making for great bulk in motors, and storage? imagine (Old English term: means think outside the box) magnitudes higher voltages, 4 hub motors, Capacitive storage
    perhaps with Li backup and High Voltage converters, Fully pulsed D.C. with inductive ringing feedback and capacitive phase correction. Similar inductive springs for even more power recovery? Neodymium magnets used extensively – from Domestic American Prospects (Oh ya! I forgot – current day Yanks with great fat asses and unlimited credit rather sit in air – conditioned cars than ‘Prospect’ – to “Old School” for them) Benefits: less copper, less weight, more energy inductively returned, faster “charging”, and inductive H Freq, H Volt, circuitry very much simplified. P.S. High voltage electric storage hardly researched – in America, but China? See the Chreos? New and older materials made cheaper by the application of
    Thorium derived heat, electricity. Aluminium and carbon, hemp and bamboo fibre vehicle bodies – molded not: welded, shaped, formed, pressed, rolled, heated, painted, fitted, at all? See the Hemp Lotus?

    • Greg

      Love that you posted this, in the new Mazda6 they have an “iEloop” system that uses capacitors as well to quickly store and distribute charge from braking. Great idea to use them with wireless charging as well.

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