Road-based Charging Network Could Charge EVs While They Drive

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U.S. researchers have designed a wireless charging system for electric vehicles they say could ultimately lead to all-electric highways capable of charging cars and trucks as they drive down the road.

The system, developed by a team at Stanford University, uses magnetic fields to transmit large electric currents between metal coils embedded a few feet apart under the surface of the road. Based on magnetic resonance coupling technology, the process involves one coil that is connected to an electric current, which generates a magnetic field that causes the second coil to resonate, triggering an invisible transfer of electrical energy.

The developers say there is a potential to eventually create a wireless network across highway systems, a step that would drastically increase the range of electric vehicles since they would theoretically never have to plug into a charging station. “You could actually have more energy stored in your battery at the end of your trip than you started with,” said Richard Sassoon, managing director of the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project and co-author of the study published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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