Protecting the environment is a modern imperative and finding alternatives to gas-guzzling cars is an important step. There are now several different types of electric car, but many people find the charging process off-putting and the range between charges limiting. A highway agency in the U.K., Highways England, is trialling a potential solution to these issues that could encourage the take up of these remarkable vehicles.
The off-road trials, which are planned to last for 18 months, feature vehicles specially fitted with wireless technology that can interact with equipment installed beneath surfaces that replicate motorway conditions. The electric cables in this equipment generate electromagnetic fields, which are picked up by coils inside the vehicles. These fields are then converted into electricity. Subject to successful completion of this phase, road trials are likely.
These are not the first attempts to charge electric vehicles on the road. In South Korea, a 7 1/2-mile section of their route charges up electric buses as they drive. And in England, a trial where buses were charged wirelessly through plates in the road has already been completed. However, in that case, the vehicles had to stop moving to recharge.
This trial hopes to prevent delays caused by pauses for recharging, but full testing is a lengthy process. In the meantime, the U.K. Government is committed to providing charging stations on major roads to help it meet the E.U.’s strict emissions targets by encouraging drivers into electric. Advances in battery technology are also helping electric cars to move more quickly towards their full potential by increasing the range each car has on a full charge.
Finding practical alternatives to gas is an urgent quest as oil supplies are finite and used for many other purposes than powering cars. While it takes time to get alternatives in place, the commitment of this English agency to supporting these trials is certainly a boost in the right direction.Whizzco