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Stanford system could allow EVs to recharge from the road, while moving

By

February 6, 2012

By charging while you're driving, you'll get more range without even stopping

By charging while you're driving, you'll get more range without even stopping

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The greatest obstacle standing in the way of electric-vehicle adoption - besides crafty, deceitful right wingers - is limited range. Electric vehicles can only travel 100 miles (161 km) on their best day. Because of the lack of electric charging stations and the amount of time involved in charging a battery, they just can't go as far as gas vehicles. A team of researchers at Stanford University recently made an important discovery in wireless charging technology. Their work could one day help solve the limited-range dilemma.

According to the US Department of Energy's alternative fuel station finder, there are about 5,500 electric charging stations across the United States. That number should balloon into the five figures by the end of this year, but the extra stations will solve only a tiny part of the greater range dilemma. Most of the charging stations built or planned are Level 1 or Level 2 stations. The Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center estimates that a Level 2 charging station can add about 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 km) of range to an EV's battery in an hour. Such a little amount of charge in such a long time makes Level II stations impractical for anything much more than emergency fill-ups.

DC fast-charging stations, which make up a very small percentage of today's charging infrastructure, are the more practical solution, but even these are much slower than gas fueling. These stations are powerful enough to deliver 80 to 100 percent of a battery's charge within about half an hour - much better than a Level 1 or 2 station, but still a long time to wait for an extra 75 miles (121 km) of range. Even with these stations, long road trips will be impractical or impossible for many drivers and families.

One of the potential solutions that may make electric vehicle driving easier in the future is highway-integrated wireless-charging equipment. We covered a Korean wireless charging system several years ago, and now researchers at Stanford University have made a breakthrough of their own. The researchers believe that a magnetic resonance system that they developed holds the key to offering a steady wireless charge to moving electric vehicles.

The researchers built on work performed at MIT in 2007, which used magnetic resonance to power a light bulb 6.5 feet (2 meters) away - even while there were objects between the source and receiving coils. Stanford's researchers wanted to see if a similar system could be used to send more power. They aimed to send 10 kW between the source and receiving coil, which they believe would keep a vehicle charged while it moves at highway speeds.

Stanford's findings could one day revolutionize the electric vehicle industry

The Stanford team used computers to experiment with the optimal design for a system that could effectively transfer 10 kW to a moving car. They found that a source coil with a 90-degree bend atop a metal plate could transfer the necessary 10 kW to an identical coil equipped to a vehicle 6.5 feet (2 m) away. They achieved transfer efficiency of 97 percent, much higher than other wireless systems, and believe that they can eventually reach higher efficiency by tweaking the design.

While the computer simulation is but a small step toward a road-integrated wireless charging infrastructure, the researchers have filed a patent on their system and plan to move toward laboratory and real-world driving tests. Extrapolated from their simulation, the system would consist of series of electrically charged coils embedded into the asphalt in roads. These coils would constantly charge electric-vehicle batteries during driving.

Study co-author Richard Sassoon, the managing director of the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), explained to the Stanford Report: "What makes this concept exciting is that you could potentially drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to recharge. You could actually have more energy stored in your battery at the end of your trip than you started with."

Sassoon's quote suggests that the magnetic system would not only help with the range issue, it could virtually solve it. If this technology were one day implemented on interstate and major state highways, it would allow electric vehicles to make longer road trips even more seamlessly than gas vehicles.

The research team has also started collaborating with the engineering department to begin looking at the intricacies and problems related to designing roadways with these coils installed. Of course, they also need to determine that the magnetic system is safe to use in a real world environment and won't result in radiation harmful to humans or electromagnetic interference that could affect vehicular electronics.

You can read the study here, but be forewarned, it's not the lightest read for non-science/math-minded folks.

Source: Stanford News

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
46 Comments

I have to tell u that this will not work without mods to the car. u better make a small test track to prove it. I have a electric bike that recharges while driving and it does not use anything but the road not all on the bike. so I know what it takes and this will not work without another battery added if u try to charge a battery that is being used to run the car all the power goes to the moter and can't go to the batterys.

trust me I know.

Joe Tomicki
6th February, 2012 @ 11:20 pm PST

also if u ever put many cars on a toy slot car track u will know this will not work.

Joe Tomicki
6th February, 2012 @ 11:26 pm PST

This is not even new. The USA had about a kilometer of induction highway in California in the early 1980's. These guys are going to get a huge shock at the patent office. Reinventing the wheel is not profitable. This technology worked but when the first oil shock ended the project died. The coils are still in the road but nothings connected to them.

That said the technology does work and is getting cheaper. Also the 1970's/ 80's work already did the safety testing. Someone needs to do some library research.

And as a non deceitful right winger I'd like to know if you have even followed the latest data confirming that the CO2 forcing ratio is 1.6 not 3.0? More CO2 = more heat and water vapor = more clouds = cooling negative feed back. Its summer and people are wearing scarves! China's now saying no to carbon taxes on planes, etc.

Hopefully as the IPCC slowly dies, abandoned in an ally by its finaciers, this project wont die as its predecessor did.

Wesley Bruce
7th February, 2012 @ 02:15 am PST

There is already something similar to this. It's called a "Subway third rail". It provides power while the vehicle is moving, or it could recharge a battery in the vehicle since it is providing electrical power. And it's more direct so you wouldn't lose power during transmission and you wouldn't have to bury the whole thing underground which would probably be incredibly expensive. Put it on a freeway, where people aren't supposed to be walking around and it would be pretty safe too.

Satviewer2000
7th February, 2012 @ 02:23 am PST

Actually I think the biggest impediment to EVs apart from leftie/greenies who flunked stage 1 physics, is the batteries.

Until they can either get a battery that

a) never wears out

b) has about 10 times the energy storage density

c) doesn't involve seriously nasty chemicals and processes in its production

they will not get off the ground. In short they need to figure out how to ditch the battery altogether. 97% transfer efficiency by inductive coupling is very high too - I'd like to see this off the computer simulation and put into real life.

Adrien
7th February, 2012 @ 03:07 am PST

Battery vehicles are doomed and unsustainable. It pointless to pursue these type of technologies when there are cleaner and more sustainable technologies that will require less infrastructure rebuild and better adaptable for rural or uncharted off road use.

I much rather have a hydrogen bottle strapped into my car and only emit water as a waste product and be able to drive far away from this pie in the sky ideas.

Jamii Hamlin
7th February, 2012 @ 04:28 am PST

I get so tired of all the bad articles where the author just believes anything he's told without doing any background check.

To begin with Tesla is releasing a car, Model S, this year that will go 300 miles (480 km) on one charge. That's quite a bit more than 100 miles stated in the article. How many times do you drive more than 300 miles in a day? The EV can then be recharged over night.

Battery tech will probably also see a great increase in the not to distant future with nano technology for example giving batteries much more surface area to react.

@ Joe, why the would you not be able to charge the battery while driving?

@ Adrien, how many cars these days never wear out? What car today can go 3000 miles on one tank?

With gas prices rising to levels where normal people can't afford to drive and electricity in comparison is almost free, why would you not want to change to an EV? - no matter your political ideas.

Roomie
7th February, 2012 @ 04:30 am PST

What was the crap remark regarding "crafty deceitful right wingers"???? Perhaps you dishonest conniving left wing bleeding heart liberals are to blame? Seriously - your comment tainted the credibility of the entire article!

Richard Dinerman
7th February, 2012 @ 04:40 am PST

One of Gizmag's best features is the lack of political news / views. Please keep it that way.

As for the rest of the post, it looks more like something from the April Fool's Day pile or an Onion reject.

Paul Schacht
7th February, 2012 @ 05:42 am PST

"The greatest obstacle standing in the way of electric-vehicle adoption - besides crafty, deceitful right wingers"

This authors offensive comments and the poor research the efficiency issues of this kind of charging, not to the mention the cost of this type of infrastructure..... this article is poorly written.

I can tell you this if you keep reprinting this type of crap you will loose at least one reader.

Dory Goldberger
7th February, 2012 @ 05:53 am PST

Richard, it was obviously ironic. I do have to wonder about the costs involved with any road-induction system. It seems like a fine way to ramp up the price of driving an EV. Since you couldn't have induction coils in every road, you'd still need batteries to take you through part of your trip-so you'd have to pay for the batteries plus any toll or tax needed to pay for the road. Maybe the best application for this is to replace the third rail system used by public transit since it is probably safer and more weather-resistant.

Duane Phillips
7th February, 2012 @ 06:12 am PST

I agree that politics should be kept out of these articles.

This concept of charging while driving from induction coils or whatever buried in the road is ludicrous, as one commenter pointed out it is the battery technology that will solve the problems of driving distances using batteries - we are very close to this.

However, the idea of using resonating magnetic fields to power a device from a distance has merits. I can think of a few applications.

Phil
7th February, 2012 @ 06:22 am PST

F-Zero, how I loved and loathed you! I destroy so many controllers in fits of rage over this game, and now I have to do it in real life?

LeeC
7th February, 2012 @ 08:32 am PST

"The greatest obstacle standing in the way of electric-vehicle adoption - besides crafty, deceitful right wingers - is limited range." Stay classy there Mr. Weiss. Whether or not these ideas are good ones or if this article was worth reading, died the moment you introduced your political rhetoric into it. People are just sick of the nonsense that comes out the mouths of both the left and right and I for on feel that politics has no place in science.

paul.martinez
7th February, 2012 @ 08:46 am PST

Deceitful right wingers? These people are more correctly call free-marketeers. These people are the ones bringing new products to market. If you don't believe that, start listing the wonderful products brought to market by communists. Short list, isn't it?

Guy Macher
7th February, 2012 @ 09:00 am PST

I have some questions.

What are the long term effects of exposure to these magnetic fields?

How do they effect communications in the vehicle?

Where is all of this electricity for cars coming from?

Why do you believe that man is responsible for global warming?

If you can accurately answer all of these questions, I would also like to know who killed JFK.

Hmmm...
7th February, 2012 @ 09:00 am PST

I have had Gizmag on my computer to read every day for years. I am firm believer in creating new transportation technologies that are fossil fuel free, AND I am a "Right Winger". The comments in this article are the typical divisive rhetoric that ruins every reasonable discussion on ending our dependency on foreign resources for energy. So if Gizmag is going to allow political comments in the articles it publishes then it is going to immediately lose all credibility and this person's support.

Tim Triplett
7th February, 2012 @ 09:17 am PST

Sorry, the biggest problem facing the electric car is buyers: more specifically the lack of buyers. The Right isn't politicizing electric cars; the Left is.

When universities have sponsor groups like the "Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP)" they get the same kind of research and outcomes that produced Global Warming and the cloud of unscientific hype and tripe we have heard for the last two generations.

aubreyg
7th February, 2012 @ 09:35 am PST

Deceitful right-wingers don't like it when you call them on their behavior. So many obstacles to the adoption of cleaner, greener cars have come from the right and their love affair with money and the status quo. This was a good article and I applaud your candor, snarky as it was, in calling out Big Oil's lapdogs for their obstruction.

Jason Jones
7th February, 2012 @ 09:53 am PST

"Deceitful Right-Wingers" are the reason EV's are failing as a concept?!? WHATEVER, the general population is NOT ready to give up on gas powered cars for a car that you have to plug in and can only go 100-300 miles per charge. Yes I am a conservative and I love the throaty rumble of my V8 but I am not against the idea of an electric car I just want a car that I can drive where ever I want, whenever I want and I do not want to HAVE to own one car that I can travel in and one car to drive on trips! EV's are getting better but they are STILL not practical for most people in this country and it has NOTHING to do with political Ideology.

ianandleda
7th February, 2012 @ 10:10 am PST

More bad science from the left. Doesn't gizmag have anyone on staff with a science background? The righty comment in the story makes gizmag look stupid.

Kjamesgraham
7th February, 2012 @ 10:11 am PST

Oh......any exploration has merits.I believe that if someone can come up with a way to transfer power wirelessly as well as designing an infrastructure system to embed it into roads lets have a look at it.I hope and believe that someone will tap into Tesla's thinking and build above ground wireless AC or DC transmission hubs like the one he constructed on the east coast to transfer energy across the Atlantic to Europe before-WW2;and then scale it up and maybe point it toward San Fran or to satelites that could network the beam to cars....Someone besides Tesla had to of understood that project on the technical side in order for it to almost of been functioning.

Secondly,about advances in batteries, I remember an article called....IBM charges into the battery business published months ago and wonder.... is that why Warren Buffet is buying Big Blue.

Jan 22.2012...Shai Agassi,CEO of Planet Better Place who is trying to break the world's dependence on oil is delivering some 70 Electric Renault Fluence ZE's to his employees in Isreal.....with president Shimon Perez,Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn enjoying a Big Parade driving the streets prior to the general public receiving them.

peterhunt21
7th February, 2012 @ 10:14 am PST

And the naysayers abound. Ha! That can't work. You can't do that. That will never catch on, and blah, blah, blah. How long did that mindset keep the world flat? The same things were said about the steam locomotive. The same things were said about electricity. The same things was said about gasoline being useless until the internal combustion engine came along, then it still would never replace the horse. So could we say that the naysayers ways of thinking has helped us a culture progress? Surely doesn't look like it from my perspective. So naysayers, get your hard hats on, for the sky is surely falling, ,, but only on you. Obstructionist have such open mouths, open eyes, open ears, but their minds are closed tighter than a bull's backside! As far as the right wing, left wing think, I categorize those that fall into that politically designed ploy as wingnuts.

Electrothump
7th February, 2012 @ 10:17 am PST

Boo to the article and double boo to the majority of posts about the article.

Mark Keller
7th February, 2012 @ 10:34 am PST

Sounds a lot like Tesla's idea of many years ago

Ed temple
7th February, 2012 @ 11:36 am PST

A few responses.

@Joe Tomicki, Of course it will require modifications to the car. It will need an induction coil for power pickup. It's after all just a linear induction generator. The induction slows the vehicle, but not by as much as the power delivered. It would also help to have a navigation strip with a sensor that will help the car track the electric power line.

@Wesley Bruce, Yes, it has been done, but not to any scale. The system installed in the 1970's suffers from low transfer efficiency. This system tries to improve the efficiency.

Oh, and anyone who has ever looked up the CO2 numbers in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics knows that CO2 is a poor greenhouse gas. Water and Methane are both much more efficient at trapping heat. Water, of course has a high specific heat, and since we are close to it's triple point, it can function as an atmospheric refrigerant, so that is a complicated question. However, the added CO2 does have an effect. The problems are real, just overplayed for political reasons. Of course, that gets into the Lunatic Left Wing fringe, and their politics. Best not go there, the Author would object.

@Satviewer2000, No, a third rail is a live conductor that is exposed. It is a direct contact power system. Streetcars use an overhead wire the same way. This is a non-contact system. That makes it safer. You can't electrocute yourself by touching the road. BTW, third rail and catanary cables have been used for over 100 years. That's how the Subway cars (third rail) and the High Speed Rail (overhead wire) are powered. It's very efficient, but wears relatively quickly.

@Adrien, Yes, batteries are the reason that Gasoline cars won out over electric cars 100 years ago. The electrics were superior in every respect except for range. Batteries typically last around 5 years (2 to 3 here in the Desert) and they have limited energy density and power to weight ratios. Efficiencies in the Charge/discharge cycles vary with type of battery from around 70% to 50%. What this system would do would be to allow you to draw more power than your car is using, and thus require less battery capacity. The major cost of an electric car is currently the battery. Without needing large batteries, electric cars could cost at least 1/3 less than they do today.

Coupling efficiency is directly related to frequency and distance. Coupling efficiencies of over 98% are routinely found in electric power transformers and motors. That is the kind of thing they are doing here.

@Jamil Hamilton, I am not sure that you realize just how big that Hydrogen Bottle would have to be. To get the same volume as a 20 gallon gasoline tank, the Hydrogen tank would only have the equivalent of 5 gallons of gasoline. Most people don't want to be driving a fuel truck to work.

@Roomie, modern battery technology is already squeezing most of the available chemical energy from the batteries. There isn't that much more possible. As it is, we are looking at and using the results of almost 150 years of research.

@Phil, Batteries are not going to get much better. It is possible to get more power in a given size or weight of battery, but they have a depressingly great likelihood of exploding if you do. What this idea is about is giving you an option for extending range. It would likely be only used on interstate (freeways), and would allow the electric cars to then have a lighter battery pack. A 40 mile range is plenty, if the car can recharge while you drive.

Of course, mass transit will always be more efficient than individual cars, but people like having personal cars. It's just more flexible.

@HMMM, long term effects of high magnetic fields are documented. They include some slowing in certain chemical reactions, and movement of small iron particles in some animals. However, none are proven harmful. There are entire generations of lab animals that have been raised in fields stronger than this.

These systems are easily two orders of magnitude smaller than the fields used in MRI machines at your local hospital. As long as you don't have braces, or an iron pin, those are harmless. We have over a decade of experience with them. Besides, a single steel floorboard will block all of the magnetic field generated by this.

@peterhunt21, Nicoli Tesla DID build a wireless power transmission system. It relied on high frequency (Radio) waves that were reflected between the ground and the ionosphere. The system did have some undesirable consequences though. It caused potentially dangerous arcing in the steel skeletons of large buildings. It could have been adopted in the late 1920's, but now, too much retrofitting would have to be done worldwide to make it effective. There has also never been an effective way to PAY for it either. That was why it wasn't built in the 1920's, and that's why it won't be built today.

Finally, some new comments. This system uses magnetic resonance. That means that half of the input energy is used in the ground. If the system were more reliant on electric fields instead of magnetic fields, then the field in the ground could be reflected upwards. Just a quick possible improvement. Also,with an electric field, (voltage dependent) you could use higher voltages to get the linkage we have some pretty good insulators. With a magnetic field (current dependent) it's much harder to reflect the field. We should also be able to reduce the spacing below the surface. Yes, it would mean that the freeways would have to have at least one lane retrofitted for this, but only one lane. We do that all the time because of wear and tear on the roads anyway. Just slip it into the program.

We would also need to be able to rapidly build a power system to power these. This would mean thousands of electric cars at 10 to 20 KW each with a transfer of the power needed from the gasoline pipelines to the electric grid. Several thousands of Megawatts of new generation would be needed. If we want to reduce the Carbon exhaust problems, then that power should be Nuclear. The only two current options for the amount of power needed are Nuclear and Coal,

Oil is imported, Gas is barely keeping up with demand, and 'renewable s' are not sufficient, and have a larger more damaging impact than Nuclear power plants for the same power levels.

Think about it.

YetAnotherBob
7th February, 2012 @ 11:54 am PST

@ Roomie: "Electricity is almost FREE"??? Where the H@## do you LIVE??? I live in Alabama, and my natural GAS is cheap compared to electricity!!! And we have TVA power in the northern part of the state.

BTW, if the electricity is imbedded in the road, how and who gets BILLED for it? Also, is there going to be a SPECIAL TAX to electric car owners to PAY FOR THE INSTALLATION? I'm sure that would only cost several BILLION dollars to "wire" the highways.

James Howard Tennyson
7th February, 2012 @ 12:01 pm PST

The bigoted writer needs an attitude adjustment for the anti right wingers comment. Reciting leftist dogma is not news and this site is supposed to be about news.

Rustin Haase
7th February, 2012 @ 12:40 pm PST

I am so DISAPPOINTED that some idiot has stooped to name calling in this article. This is the same crap that happened with East Anglia University over "global warming"! I subscribed to this email because I was led to believe it was about facts and science, not POLITICS. If I see this style once again I will cancel my subscription and work an effort to get more to drop it. That will affect your advertising $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Now for this article. There are many studies that show without taxpayers being ripped off for the money to subsidize a technology that can not make it on it's own. The environmental impact to generate more electricity to recharge the batteries will be harmful to the environment. That is to say nothing or the hazardous waste generated by disposing of the life limited batteries.

As for the rising gas prices these are the result of POLITICAL decisions. If our politicians would allow the environmental safe drilling we could increase our security, stop subsidizing the Middle East leaders and supporters of terror. Let's starve the mothers. It would also drive the price of gas down to where the economic engine of America would rev up and improve our economy.

It is troubling that a renowned Research University like Stanford do not have the ability to study the entire "system" regarding transportation. Makes me think that they have received federal money to push a political agenda not a solution to a real problem.

Pity this country when we need a response like we did in WWII with "research" like this.

phxgeo
7th February, 2012 @ 01:19 pm PST

The future of travel will be giant air ships ...loaded by small air vehicles. The internal combustion engine should be axed in a year, from the new pollutant.

Stewart Mitchell
7th February, 2012 @ 02:42 pm PST

What if you had a method of continuous charging of your batteries drawing energy from the scalar zero point? Google Bedini Electronics, battery charger.

daelwalker
7th February, 2012 @ 05:13 pm PST

How to lose credibility in one easy step, insert your political opinion in the most cynical and insulting manner possible as early as possible. That I'm unabashedly sceptical of any snake oil salesman that tells me he can cure all ills for the low low price of ... or in this case the high high price.

Didn't even bother going past the first line, so very sad an article on an "emerging" technology has to be tainted in such a manner. Perhaps the author should go back to altering the models to prove the Goracles global warming bunk.

Michael Gene
7th February, 2012 @ 05:27 pm PST

Yeah lets all bathe ourselves in EMF. WHat a moronic idea. Who came up with that plan, some major shareholder in a company that profits from chemothereapy?

foghorn
7th February, 2012 @ 06:32 pm PST

When one wants to highlight a good new idea, starting the discussion with snarky, political comments is a really bad idea. I didn't bother reading past the first line, because I assumed the writer was too ignorant to present factual information. Moreover, if I ever read anything similar on Gizmag, I'll not bother telling you of my displeasure; I'll simply cancel my subscription.

Bob Strong
7th February, 2012 @ 07:04 pm PST

To all the "besides crafty, deceitful right wingers " that took offence

Lighten up! Your giving us a bad name.

My viewpoints are somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan but the opening line made me laugh out loud.

Todd Dunning Where are you when we need you?

Captain Danger
7th February, 2012 @ 08:50 pm PST

last time I checked transformers used ferrite or plate iron cores.

Much better "conductors" of magnetic flux than air, which is required to transfer power.

OK, so batteries maybe don't need to last forever, but they need to last a heck of a lot longer, especially since we can't even dispose of them or create them without major environmental issues. Do some googling on lithium process.

Until the power/weight of batteries approaches that of petrol, you are effectively carrying dead weight around, which means all other things being equal, that you are using more energy to move the mass around. The improved efficiency of electric vs petrol engines sure will help there, but weight is the biggest enemy in a car as any race mechanic will tell you - more to get moving, more to stop, more force on tires to get round corners, more kinetic energy when you crash etc etc.

I'm still waiting for my Mr Fusion I can drop the banana skin into...

Adrien
7th February, 2012 @ 08:58 pm PST

I live in PA. The roads are full of potholes and cracks. Has anyone given any thought as to what all the road salt and chemicals would do to these "imbedded" coils?

tvolansky
8th February, 2012 @ 04:57 am PST

wow, sorry, tvolansky, no one hate PA more than me. And awesome F1 reference somewhere up there. This tech will GREATLY interfere with some tech i've seen on this website. Wireless pacemakers and the like. Plus adding all that electromagnetism is just a nightmare for audiophiles like myself. I road in my 1st prius the other day and HATED HATED HATED it. Too bumpy, ac controls are on a SCREEN for &^%'s sake! I could hear every drop of water and pebble the tires bumped into. Oh what a peice of crap! and in a few years it's gonna be a 5 grand bill for that poor soul to replace all the crap batteries in it. Also i have to mention i can drive my stick smoother AND more quickly than the prius shifts or stops and starts the engine (oh man what an unnerving jolt from a peice of "technology". Unrelated: i bet the heat inside an electic car sucks.

johnweythek
8th February, 2012 @ 09:30 am PST

It was kind of you to needle the handful of crafty, deceitful right-wingers who can read well enough to take offense. Thank you.

I hope this core group of relatively bright conservatives will pursue their GEDs and one day understand the science behind global warming. They may then understand that while it is a political issue in the US, it is a global issue of great concern elsewhere on earth. The only group that doubts it is American conservatives. And Fox "News".

Peak oil is a concept that those who think gasoline prices are going to plummet don't "get", either. We have passed peak production, and it is gone for good. We have a critical need to develop alternative means to power our vehicles NOW before the oil finally dries up. If you think battery prices are high now, wait until there is no alternative! That is all the more reason to push hard for economically feasible alternatives, improved battery life, capacitance-based storage, better fuel cell technology. EVs are coming.

jgemerson
8th February, 2012 @ 10:49 am PST

Way to take a cheap shot at "conservative right-wingers". Do you just by default presume that all your readers agree with your politics?

Not cool.

If it weren't for the "conservative right-wingers" you'd be unlikely to have the freedom to create or security to apply these modern applications.

I applaud the ingenious developments gizmag.com shares with us Neandertals but i could stand a little less condescension.

Toby May
8th February, 2012 @ 01:43 pm PST

re; jgemerson

AGW has been proved to be a hoax.

The USofA has more easily reached but untapped oil than the top three Arab oil producers have oil in total.

Unless the green fascist get out of the way of nuclear there wont be electricity to charge the batteries anyway.

Slowburn
8th February, 2012 @ 09:24 pm PST

Chris Weiss: You sir just crossed the line.

"crafty, deceitful right wingers"????

What the heck is a hateful pejorative like that doing in a tech article, and when did it become acceptable to insult half your audience just to get in a cheap political jab??

I'm not going to say anything here that hasn't already been said, except that I only know one person who drives a Prius, and she is a "crafty, deceitful" right winger.

I myself am a 'moderate' by anybody's standard, but I think I have about had it with the politicization of technology relating to the environment.

I followed Aptera with glee and read of their recent demise with a heavy heart. I have been waiting patiently for the Leaf only to find out it has a paltry 75 mile range and have only recently given up on my plans to build my own EV due to time constraints (and stubbornly high battery prices).

So, Mr Weiss, you can put away your tar brush along with the petty name calling.

This is the last Gizmag article I will be reading for a long time.

I'll check back in a few months. If I see 'Chris Weiss' in the header I'll know not to bother, since he considers me 'crafty and deceitful'.

Neil
9th February, 2012 @ 03:00 am PST

Assuming for the moment that this thing turns out to be the best thing since sliced bread and solves the battery charging problem, there is still the cost of installing the

source coils and the attendent transmission lines from the grid. What about using piezoelectric energy harvesting as the power source? Now you not only charge the battery, but you do it with a none polluting source and don't add a huge new burden to the existing grid.

RGH
9th February, 2012 @ 02:54 pm PST

If someday we all get around to embedding electric coils in our pavement, why don't we use these coils to generate magnetic fields that will DIRECTLY MOVE THE VEHICLE instead of inductively coupling to a coil that is charging a battery to power a motor that moves the vehicle.

For the times that the car is over the coils, the car is being PULLED ALONG by a moving magnetic field and the result is that the electric motor will be in generating mode.

This is far more efficient and something that these researchers should have thought about.

phydeaux
10th February, 2012 @ 09:24 pm PST

forget about the concept of embedded coils or whatever,think about it,local government can't maintain the roads we have,let alone embedding electric coils everywhere,think also of the pot hole dilemma,imagine a pot hole developing near the hard ware of this technology.....nuff said. unless every road is concrete,then your only problem would be unco ordinated utilitiy companies digging the roads up every day. problems abound.

floccipaucinihilipilification
11th February, 2012 @ 11:58 am PST

pardon the ramblings of a non-technical guy... BUT... I understand that a gas powered engine turns the alternator to keep the battery charged in a car right? Why can't the rotation of the wheels or something do this same feature? I also read that the charging feature (as expressed above) would go to powering the car not charging the batteries, but if there were 2 banks in the car, it could charge on half of them, use the other, and when the power drops, switch to the charged batteries and charge the others... ? Granted I am NOT an electrical engineer so I can't really say if this would work or not...?

tatespa
15th February, 2012 @ 11:02 am PST
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