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AUTOMOTIVE / DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY

Tomorrow's Electric Cars: Powered By The Road

By Tony Ibrahim | Sunday | 08/07/2012

New research has shed light on powering cars through roads.

There are serious concerns about electric cars—such as their battery's ten year lifespan or the several hours it takes to charge them—making it difficult to defend the new technology.

But following new research conducted by a Japanese research group, it could be easier to promote their use and adaptation.

Researchers from Toyohashi University of Technology believe they've cracked how to deliver an electric current through concrete to power a car's tyres. In their tests, they managed to pass an electric current through almost 4 inches of solid concrete with 80-90% efficiency.

They used a set of modified tyres atop of the concrete slab with the electricity being channelled through it to an incandescent bulb; the bulb providing tangible proof the transfer was in fact taking place. With this setup, up to sixty watts was transferred to the bulb.

The researchers believe the high conductivity of concrete used in roads coupled with the cheap cost of materials could allow massive amounts of electricity to be transmitted through up to eight inches of concrete.

Picture the technology of a bumper cart, except instead of being powered by an electric grid above it, insulated electricity is being fed to custom tyres to power an everyday car.

Read: Light That Floats In Mid-Air Made By 19 Year Old

Although the experiment was a success—proving electricity can effectively be transmitted through a slab of concrete—it's still very early days, requiring output 100 times greater to power a car.

Source: Mashable

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