The British government is gearing up to test a new road technology that will allow electric cars to charge as they drive.
Most of today’s electric cars get charged through either plug-ins at home or while parked along the streets via wireless charging pods. Now, however, a new proposal by the UK government is working toward installing a type of technology similar to that of wireless phone chargers.
The new technology, which would be installed under a specified lane, would use magnetic induction technology to charge electric cars as they drive. The project is slated to begin later in the year with engineers installing wireless technology in test vehicles as well as placing special equipment under the roads.
Cables buried beneath the highway would generate electromagnetic fields that would be picked up by a receiver in the electric car and transformed into electric power. The road system would also include a communication system that would detect the oncoming of vehicles so it could start the process.
Trials will be restricted to areas where regular cars do not drive. The UK government is committing $779 million to the electromagnetic project over the next five years. The government is also expanding the number of available charging stations to one every 20 miles.
“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,” said the government’s chief highways engineer, Mike Wilson.
In the South Korean city of Gumi, similar technology is already in use. The city’s public bus shuttles are able to cover distances of up to 15 miles while getting their energy from underground power cables.