Nice try! It's a frickin' slot car! It's bound to work in Canada!!!
13th June, 2013 @ 2:26 p.m. (California Time)
OK, like most of it but what prevents a short circuit in wet weather or an accidental human/animal zap?
13th June, 2013 @ 4:16 p.m. (California Time)
It will be interesting to see just how well it stands up to a downpour - water and 750v DC don't get play very well together.
Another thing, how do they propose keeping the pickup pad on the tracks if the truck has to veer sideways from the straight line?
13th June, 2013 @ 4:18 p.m. (California Time)
Would cost as much to retrofit old roads as to include in new ones. What happens if an animal - cat, dog, critter - runs across in front? A good choice, flattened or fried! And how many shorted-out sections before something runs out of stored power and grinds to a traffic-jamming halt?
13th June, 2013 @ 7:07 p.m. (California Time)
OK for long haul routes maybe but useless in cities or rural.
13th June, 2013 @ 7:14 p.m. (California Time)
Max and ivan4: It uses a process called "induced current" a method where current from the source naturally generates a magnetic field, which in turn is converted back to an electric current in the pick-up.
Since the magnetic flux passes through insulation there is no exposed conductive material to short circuit.
Same technology is currently used to charge electric toothbrushes, except scaled down significantly.
The article also states that the pick-up uses smart tracking to keep it in position. From the photos it looks as though it slides left-right.
I cant see the 1000's of kilometers of Australian outback roads having this installed, though. Especially considering most of the are still dirt!
13th June, 2013 @ 7:23 p.m. (California Time)
They already have things like this that can only go where the tracks dictate.......
(and if you missed it: Trains)
13th June, 2013 @ 7:41 p.m. (California Time)
Due to the track being made up of short segments that are only charged when a properly equipped vehicle is over or just ahead of it and moving at least at 60 km/h (37 mph) any animals that get fried have already been run over.
Pure water does not conduct electricity. The water in rain and snow is pretty pure. Precipitation on the track is not the problem problem that most people think. In places that do not get enough rain to clean the insulators on high-tension distribution lines they use a truck very similar to a fire truck to wash the insulators with pure water when the lines are live; nobody gets fried.
The inductive system was mentioned only as a possible option that was being worked on.
re; Matthew Giles
Trains have to stay on the tracks the truck or other vehicle has to be able to get onto the highway and attain as speed of at least 60 km/h (37 mph) thus it has an engine or batteries and is capable of going places that the tracks do not go.
14th June, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m. (California Time)
I can see this used for public transport. Maybe take off the speed limit and implement these tracks in bus stops. If the bus pulls in to take passengers it can load the batteries. Also You can put these tracks on large intersections where transport has to wait a long time.
14th June, 2013 @ 1:26 a.m. (California Time)
The guys at Volvo obviously do not read Gizmag or Science Daily otherwise they would know that the concept they are proposing is dead.
14th June, 2013 @ 4:14 a.m. (California Time)
The biggest danger to us all is that one of these systems mentioned is shown to work sufficiently well and cheap enough to support it being rolled out on a massive scale. Where then does the electricity come from? Heaven help us if the power generating companies turn to coal to meet the need.
If ever a time was ripe for LFTR nuclear power generation it is surely now.
14th June, 2013 @ 4:47 a.m. (California Time)
In Stanford university they have developed an EV with a current carrying conductor embedded in the road to inductively charge battery of EV.
14th June, 2013 @ 5:09 a.m. (California Time)
Live current may have too many dangers. Eg. an overturned vehicle... Electromagnetic induction may have its own shortfalls, especially for quick charge. The electromagnetism may have the same dangers as living under a transmission line? Still, thee should be a solution in the not too distant future.
14th June, 2013 @ 5:37 a.m. (California Time)
Two comments from an intellectually challenged fixie rider.
Firstly the general & commercial road user will go nuts at the disruption caused by the installation of such a system and secondly there is still the question of where the required electricity will come from in the longer term.
Until the problem of a clean, long term viable means of generating electricity is resolved this and just about any other new form of electric transport system is pretty much a dead end.
14th June, 2013 @ 6:27 a.m. (California Time)
We are already running into a cost/benefit failure with the current roads infrastructure. There simply is not enough money to make roads and bridges as it is without making them infinitely more complicated. The safety gadgets they are including are useful but present a huge complexity increase which means higher maintenance costs. So as a public works project this will never roll. If the power companies were to subsidize the project it might be feasible, but the power companies would never go for it.
That said more power to them. If they can somehow make this work and sell it it will permit electric vehicles to displace smog machines as it would remove range as an issue. For those who complain that it would require fossil fuel plants. It might but even so it would result in less real pollution than all the cars produce. I'm not taking CO2 into account, just the toxic byproducts of poorly combusted fuels that occur in an ICE. When LFTR and other thorium power generation take off there will be no benefit to using fossil fuel generators. By the time this system had significant uptake the Thorium generators would be ready for market so the arguement would probably be moot anyway.
14th June, 2013 @ 8:22 a.m. (California Time)
Gentlemen...I applaud Volvo's endeavor to solve the "battery" issue with electric vehicles. The question is: will we apply the technology? Have our predecessors not come up with equal or better "solutions" in the past only to have their ideas or themselves wind up dead. It's the greedy guys in control of the world's resources that do not allow these concepts to see the light of day. Even this article talks about the charging for the use of the electric strip. The sun gives enough energy if we can harness it to power the "strip"...or the vehicle itself could have self electrical generation apparatus on board using the movement over a strip in the road, or the turning of the tires or....
The main issue is taking the greed factor out of the equation...then you will see a solution to transportation and all other problems. Time is coming when all problems will be solved...jw.org
Refreshing point of view
14th June, 2013 @ 10:08 a.m. (California Time)
We already have crossed over to large and distributed (medium) wind and solar costing less than new fossil fuel plants; in a very few years it will get to the point at which they cost less than electricity from old fossil fuel plants other than natural gas; that will be eclipsed within 5 to 10 years.
Meanwhile, the cost of high-performance batteries will drop by more than half within a year, and they will be widely available within 5 years -- and keep dropping in price. They will store 12 kWh of electricity in the space of a conventional car-starting battery, and that will increase over time.
It will be straightforward to put enough storage on a vehicle for 10 to 100 miles, and it will create an enormous opportunity for shading our highways and roads with solar panels to generate all the electricity required locally. That market will pay for the cost of installing the pick-ups late at night, when all the traffic can be served with 1 or 2 lanes.
The low cost (amortized in less than 10 years, lasts 30 to 70) and environmental, socio-economic and efficiency benefits (compared to any centralized power generation system) will make such a distributed system very competitive with coal, thorium, and other top-down systems.
14th June, 2013 @ 10:33 a.m. (California Time)
I'll support anything that will keep big slow vehicles (such as buses, motor homes, dump-trucks and semi-trailer trucks) in the slow lane where they belong; particularly on highways and long uphill grades.
14th June, 2013 @ 11:08 a.m. (California Time)
"One is a positive pole, and the other is used to return the current." Sorry, current runs from negative to positive, not the other way around.
Also, one thing Volvo hasn't answered: Who pays for the electricity.
14th June, 2013 @ 12:23 p.m. (California Time)
Its a stupid idea and I will tell you why. The connection itself draws power and is drag on the car. It is much more efficient to simply have a battery.
14th June, 2013 @ 12:36 p.m. (California Time)
good luck in snow.
14th June, 2013 @ 1:03 p.m. (California Time)
I have to wonder if this isn't compatible with Witricity, by having transmitting antennae buried several cm below the road surface the issue of fried roadkill becomes moot.
14th June, 2013 @ 1:31 p.m. (California Time)
Why didn't they make the test track in circle so they could just keep on testing it rather than going only 400 meters?
14th June, 2013 @ 1:32 p.m. (California Time)
"If an electric vehicle passes a road segment with a proper encrypted signal, then the road will energize the segments that sense the vehicle."
Translation: This will allow billing per mile/kilometer and tracking all vehicles using the system, same as is used to bill and track vehicles using automatic road and bridge toll payment and cell phones.
Add this to the ways police will be able to track "persons of interest".
14th June, 2013 @ 2:31 p.m. (California Time)
Also, where I live, it snows.. So what happens when a "Plow Truck" has this big steel blade across both tracks? Sounds like a short circuit to me. At least the idea didn't work in my favor with my slot-car track 25 years ago... Maybe things have changed?
14th June, 2013 @ 3:46 p.m. (California Time)
So how about various nice long straight sections for topping of EVs, hybrids and plugin-hybrids instead of expecting to power vehicles the entire trip? Production EVs already go over 100 miles on a charge so with a few of these charger strips along the way they may be little need to stop on 500 miles trips but to relieve oneself.
14th June, 2013 @ 6:33 p.m. (California Time)
"It will be interesting to see just how well it stands up to a downpour - water and 750v DC don't get play very well together.
Another thing, how do they propose keeping the pickup pad on the tracks if the truck has to veer sideways from the straight line?"
13th June, 2013 @ 04:18 pm PDT
Volvo not cars is a Swedish company and they likely have plenty of chance to try that, solve it and have thought about the issues. As far as control goes I suppose robotics work for both moving the arm and keeping the truck on track and if it stears away and loses connection you can have batteries for that small part.
"What happens if an animal - cat, dog, critter - runs across in front? A good choice, flattened or fried!"
13th June, 2013 @ 07:07 pm PDT
Animals on roads always got that issue. If there's no truck there's no electricity and if there is a truck there is electricity. Whatever the animal will still be there then or would get hit anyway I don't know but I assume they understand that some deaths can accur. People I just have to stay away from the roads when trucks are coming.
"OK for long haul routes maybe but useless in cities or rural."
13th June, 2013 @ 07:14 pm PDT
It's the long distances which is the problem. Within a city you could drive on batteries for instance.
14th June, 2013 @ 10:23 p.m. (California Time)
Roads get resurfaced from time to time so track instillation need not be a hugely expensive undertaking.
The idea that cars can not use overhead power lines is just stupid. They will suffer a higher aerodynamic penalty but if electrical prime movers are as efficient as claimed this is not a deal breaker.
As long as EVs are battery powered EVs are going to be impractical.
Batteries are expensive.
Batteries are heavy creating more drag than the sliding conductor connection.
Batteries loose more energy to heat in charging that the sliding conductor connection looses total.
re; Bob Humbly
You are stating as fact things that are only conjecture; there are other valid opinions including one that has 'holes' moving in the opposite direction from the apparent electron flow. Many in electronics design work from the theory that electricity flows from positive to negative. Until we can violate the uncertainty principal we can not actually know how electricity flows.
re; Adam Ackels
The track is live only when an appropriately equipped vehicle tells it to be. so a self powered truck, or a truck longer than the track's conductor segments can use a electrically conductive blade to push snow of the track. However in places where installing the electricity supply track it is cost effective to remove snow by heating the road surface. Also the bottom of the snow blade can be made out of non conductive material.
15th June, 2013 @ 5:15 a.m. (California Time)
We still based upon conventional roads. Some also accompany the rivers, as if we needed to stop for give drinking to horses, something almost impossible today, because all of them, currently affected by pollution.
Buses and trams are moved by electicity for a long time and the method of charging is very similar to this, only more intelligent, because it is cheaper, is not on the ground, subject to traffic, flooding, snow and premature wear.
Nothing better than inductive charging, hidden underground, powered by solar or wind, while do not replace wheels, motors and batteries by magnetic levitation.
16th June, 2013 @ 2:48 p.m. (California Time)
What about snow and ice along with the huge amounts of salt used? What about the snow plow blade catching the track? What about pieces of scrap metal that get drug up and simply how much wear would you get from sand and gravel on the road?
16th June, 2013 @ 4:25 p.m. (California Time)
The efficiency of inductive charging decreases with the distance between transmitter and receiver and and with the increasing relative velocity between transmitter and receiver. given current efficiency of such inductive charging systems It would more than double the problem of generating the additional electricity to add EVs to the already overstressed grid.
In places where it would be cost effective to install the track it is also cost effective to remove snow and ice by heating the road surface. Therefor the salt, sand, or gravel problem is limited.
Presumably the rails will be robust enough and well enough designed that it would take considerable effort to dig it up and not something that a snowplow would achieve.
Debris from other sources would still be a problem but sensors on the vehicle could detect the debris and lift the contact pad over it. With today's connected world the EV's electronics could send a message to road maintenance with the location and a picture of the offending item with out the driver being involved, and preferably without the vehicle being identified.
17th June, 2013 @ 12:44 a.m. (California Time)
surface transportation needs to follow the Dodo
17th June, 2013 @ 7:55 p.m. (California Time)
re; Stewart Mitchell
What do you think should replace it?
How much do you think it will cost?
18th June, 2013 @ 3:33 p.m. (California Time)
Might work well with solar roads.
Or build high speed rail.
18th June, 2013 @ 3:41 p.m. (California Time)
A system which solves the Volvo drawbacks (cannot be used on snow and heavy rainfall because of aquaplaning) is described in http://www.hybrid-engine-hope.com/hybrid_transport_system
This system is created both for trucks (buses) and passenger cars and is not weather dependent.
21st June, 2013 @ 1:24 a.m. (California Time)
Wireless transmission of electrical power from roadside power rail to vehicle will be the real key. Something I'v been thinking about for years.
Richard Dicky Riddlebarger
25th June, 2013 @ 9:09 a.m. (California Time)
So, uhhh... trolleybus?
25th June, 2013 @ 3:49 p.m. (California Time)