Stopping for refueling in a long journey is always frustrating. When it comes to electric cars, the recharging times are significantly higher unless you own a Tesla car and you are near a supercharging station. On top of this, electric cars will go around 260 miles per charge compared to gas-guzzling cars which go around 300 miles on full tank.
To cut down the long recharging time of the electric cars, Highways England is in the advanced stage of implementing an innovative solution for electric vehicles. Electric vehicles would be fitted with wireless technology for charging and when they drive on the special roads fitted with electromagnetic field generating equipment, vehicles will be automatically charged. Electric cables buried under the road surface will generate electromagnetic fields which will be picked up by an appropriate coil inside the car and will convert the same into electricity.
According to the Transport minister Andrew Jones, “the government is already committing £500 million over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology.”
“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 and major A roads,” Mike Wilson, Highways England’s chief highways engineer, said. ” The off-road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country.”
This effort is probably the second of its kind. The first effort was made in South Korea in a 7.5-mile (12 km) stretch of road. This was to charge the electric buses as they drive along, via a process called Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR).
In another experiment In England, a trial in Milton Keynes, buses were charged wirelessly via charging plates installed on the road. But, in that case, the charging was done in a stationary condition.
But this new effort is a lot more ambitious and is a potential game-changer. Dr Paul Nieuwenhuis, the director of Cardiff Business School’s Electric Vehicle Centre of Excellence, criticized the effort saying that “it sounds very ambitious to me. Cost will be the biggest issue and I’m not totally convinced it’s worth it.”. Nieuwenhuis was looking forward to the advancements in the battery systems and doubted, if, there would ever be a need for such roads.