It’s Electric: Engineers Propose High-Tech Highways

Magnetic fields would transmit power to electric vehicles while they drive

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego
    The Nisson Leaf is one electric vehicle that can turn to Balboa Park to get recharged

    A group of California engineers say they’ve solved the problem facing the future of electrical vehicles.

    Highways with magnetic fields would send electrical currents straight to electric vehicles while they drive. This way, drivers of the cars wouldn’t have to worry about finding a charger along their routes, according to an article by California Watch.

    "You could actually have more energy stored in your battery at the end of your trip than you started with," co-author of the study Richard Sassoon told California Watch.

    In San Diego, there are about 30 electrical vehicle charging locations – a map designed by the nonprofit EV Charger News shows where they are located.

    Through the stations have been cropping up around San Diego in the past several months, potential electric vehicle owners are expressing reluctance to buy the cars, concerned that they may find themselves stranded with no power.

    Current models can run about 100 miles before running out of energy.

    The electric highway would use a method called magnetic resonance coupling. Magnetic coils vibrate at a matching frequency. One of the coils is attached to an electrical source. In a ripple-effect, the source causes the other coil to vibrate too.

    The end result is a transfer of electricity between the two coils. In the case of the electric highway, the electricity would be transferred from the road to the car – only it would require many coils under the highway.

    The plan is still in the developing stages, and the engineers have yet to design the highway. Yet it’s a promising step toward the goal state policy-makers are aiming for. By 2025, 1.4 million electric and hybrid vehicles will be on California’s roads – if the California Air Resources board’s approved goal is reached.

    For more on the electric highway, check out California Watch’s website.