Why bother with charging stations, when you could just drive your electric vehicle over a road that has embedded charging strips? That’s exactly what researchers at Cornell University are developing right now, which not only saves time for drivers, but also pave the way for more sustainable transit. These two insulated metal plates on the ground are connected to a power line through a matching network and a high-frequency inverter, thus creating oscillating electric fields that attract as well as repel charges in a pair of matching metal plates attached to the underside of a vehicle. Read more for a video and additional information.
This system then drives a high-frequency current through a circuit on the vehicle, which rectifies it, resulting in the charging process. Even when the system is ready for commercial deployment, implementing it on a mass scale will not be easy to say the least. One option is to first electrify high-traffic roadways to support large, long-haul trucks before focusing on cities. The latter would have charging strips installed at stop signs and traffic lights so drivers could charge while they wait.
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There are a lot of infrastructure questions that get asked when you say, ‘OK, we’re going to enable electric vehicles.’ How does that society function? If every vehicle in the country was electric, you would need a lot of outlets to plug them in. We don’t have that kind of power available in our homes to be able to charge them very fast,” said Khurram Afridi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering.