One of the biggest downfalls of electric vehicles currently is the lack of range, which means stopping often to charge, hindering the owner when going long distances.
Energy Dynamics Lab (EDL) is looking to solve that dilemma by developing the technology to wirelessly charge an EV through a system embedded onto our roadways. Back in 2010, the subsidiary of Utah State University, began a wireless power project that has become the foundation for something that could revolutionize how we know EVs today.
The idea is to allow an EV to be charged while it’s driving to its destination by utilizing an electric coil or pad that’s in the road surface, to work with one that’s on the vehicle. Currently EDL has shown the technology to work on an EV while it’s stationary, but its next goal is to get vehicles charging at speeds up to 70 mph.
While the biggest benefit would be giving EVs the ability to travel longer distances, EDL claims that EV batteries could also be 80 percent smaller if such a system was used across major road networks. This would result in lowered electric vehicle costs.
EDL hopes to have a live demonstration of wireless EV charging while in motion within the next year. Unfortunately the cost per mile to implement such a system is currently very costly – but so is any technology in its infancy stage. An estimated per lane/mile cost is anywhere from $1 million to $5 million. Astounding? Surely, but given some time a more cost-efficient solution can be found once the technology is developed.
“The goal of the project is to make wireless power practical for electric vehicles, starting with stationary charging applications and then moving to in-motion applications on electric roadways,” said Jeff Muhs, EDL’s director of business development.
[Source: Traffic Technology International]