UK to test roads that charge electric cars as they drive

British government commits more than $1 billion to developing charging technology, including 18 month-long trial.

August 18, 2015   by PLANT Staff



LONDON — England is hoping to significantly improve the range of electric vehicles by introducing roads that would charge the vehicles as they travel along them.

Highways England has announced that it will embark on an 18-month trial on the charging lanes after completing a feasibility study. The trial won’t, however, take places on public roads.

Trial vehicles will be outfitted with wireless technology and special equipment installed beneath roads to replicate highway conditions.

[CLICK TO ENLARGE] The trial will last 18 months. PHOTO: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Electric cables under the road surface will generate electromagnetic fields and picked up by a coil inside the device and converted into electricity.

The trial will take place later this year, and full details are to be released once Highways England has appointed a contractor to build the test grounds. There will be a potential follow up study on real roads.

Transport minister Andrew Jones told the BBC that the British government has committed more than $1 billion to developing the technology.

The trial isn’t the first of its kind. South Korea has a 12 km stretch of road that charges electric buses as they drive along through a process called Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR).

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