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back to article Japanese boffins demo EV on-the-move charging

Electric vehicles have two problems: to make them “zero emission”, they need to be recharged from “clean” sources; and range remains a challenge. A Japanese proposal would, if it worked, address the second – but probably exacerbate the first. A team from the Toyohashi University of Technology has demonstrated an electric field …

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Boffin

Mmmm, so are they using magnetic or electrostatic coupling? I shudder at either possibility.

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Trains and Trams

Haven't trains and trams already solved the power delivery to a moving vehicle problem? True it'd be impractical to have overhead wires everywhere, but just doing motorways wouldn't be as big a job as doing every road, and should be in the right place for most journeys where range is an issue.

Its going to mean ugly cars unless it folds away though.

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Re: Trains and Trams

Trains are constrained on tracks and weigh a hell of a lot - having a minimal contact point on the top of a train doesn't pose much in terms of danger because the contact doesn't provide much friction and trains have a pretty uniform upper height.

How do you fit in an above-road electrical system which can accommodate a mini as well as a 12 tonne truck? The height above the road the electrical cables would have to be would make it difficult to fit a system large enough atop a mini, for example.

It makes more sense to me to have electrified rails on the ground (as stupidly dangerous as that probably is) because all motor vehicles touch the ground with a much smaller difference in the distance between the undercarriage and ground. a deployable arm that slaps down a feeder on an electrical rail seems much more practical and deployable to me, but then I'm not an engineer...

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Re: Trains and Trams

Given that streets are also where kids play and where pedestrians crisscross, a ground-based third rail is a non-starter. Plus roads can have multiple lanes; trains usually travel on single sets of rails.

At least the researchers are honest and point out: yeah, we can do it, but it isn't nearly practical at this time.

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Re: Trains and Trams

@honkhonk34

Real live Skalektrix!!

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Pint

Rebuild

The Wardenclyffe Tower!

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I want this in Formula One

Well, haven't you ever played a futuristic racing game with boost strips painted onto the tarmac?

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Anonymous Coward

Don't see this going anywhere.

Combustion engine vehicles have a limited range too, they solved that issue with things called filling stations rather than trying to pump fuel into your car as you're driving.

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Joke

Re: Don't see this going anywhere.

You could solve the range problem for internal combustion engines too. You could follow this methodology and have re-fuel while driving systems. Steam engines used to do this. Just imagine in the middle of motorway lanes you could have mile long troughs full of petrol (diesel in the loser lane obviously) and when your gauge get low, you just lower a scoop and re-fill the tank.

No problems

Wouldn't solve the parallel range problem of the Mrs' bladder capacity.

Just remember to keep the health and safety crowd away :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "loser lane"

By using such a term you indicate quite conclusively that you should not be trusted with the responsibility of piloting a vehicle.

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Coat

Re: "loser lane"

I suggest that you try and find yourself a link to Michael McIntyre's interview on Top Gear, a reportedly humours TV program with a mild interest in motoring, and see whether you are in possession of a sense of humour.

I was actually trolling for those who've realised that diesel's aren't any longer slower vehicles, but I seem to have caught the wrong sort of troll.

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Even if they solve the problem, can you imagine the temptation for hoodlums, (as well as unintended accidents), to put ANY conducting material in the vicinity of a 5kW delivering system.

Just watch the ensuing mayhem as the material melts/explodes ruining the system and probably a significant part of the roadway in the process.

Power lines are that high for a reason!

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Anonymous Coward

Control system?

It can be seen that there are several potential approaches to proving some sort of safety/security system so that it is only energised when necessary. Such a thing would probably also be quite useful for billing purposes, as I imagine the energy suppliers would be quite keen on that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Control system?

* providing

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Tin foil hat brigade

Imagine the reaction from the tin foil hat brigade. They're worried by the tiny EM field needed transmit data over the ether. Just imagine how big the field is going to be to power all the cars trying to drive down the motorway.

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Happy

MAGLEV

Can't we have a Maglev system please. I love the idea of going to work in a landspeeder, it's a lot more enticing than public transport.

PS : For the pedants , I know that Landspeeders don't use Maglev but it is about the closest thing that I could find.

PPS : For the ultra-pedants : Yes, I know Landspeeders don't exist.

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Anonymous Coward

Linear Motors

Just fit a line of carefully timed, pulsed electro magnets to a special paid lane on the motorway. Get in lane stick the car in neutral (or whatever the electric equivalent is) cruise to destination using minimal charge / fuel. And with the same linear motor driving everyone, there'll be no-one going too slow and blocking the lane.

Getting out of the lane may be a small issue though.

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Boffin

efficiency

The article derides the 80% efficiency as being too low to be practical.. the reality is that this is actually pretty good for a wireless system.Even with a wired system, you would be doing well to get 90% efficiency out of it. Less if you count the losses through the battery and charger (assuming the wireless system power is used dynamically rather than stored)

That said, yes its still more practical to recharge at stations.. the cost of implementing this on just motorways would be astronomical (anyone seen the price of copper cable these days?)

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Holmes

me n my car weigh 1500kg

If this is all in the name of environmentalism , systainabilty , global warming, clean energy ...

then The whole "car" concept needs to go. people need to move on trains or buses , or conveyor belts - or just work out where the hell they want to be!

In the future the idea that when millions of people commuted miles to work , they increased their ground footprint by 100 times , and their mass from 70kg to upwards of 1500kg - by getting in a car will laughable

we dont have the available energy or space to carry on like this

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Re: me n my car weigh 1500kg

"- or just work out where the hell they want to be!"

I definately agree with what is stated above and just to add a litlle

Why the hell do we "need" to travel so much in the first place? There was a time when 20Kms was a long journey and today we are literally travelling 10s of thousands of kms per year. Is it all really necassary ?

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Re: me n my car weigh 1500kg

I don't know about you, but the village I live in hasn't had a shop/post office for many years. You need to get in the car to get anything.

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Stop

Re: me n my car weigh 1500kg

Trains are all well and good if they go where you want.

To go to a neighbouring town for me is a 1 hour train journey, in car, about 10 mins.

To get to work by train, 1.5 hours (at best), so 3 hour round trip.

if I left at the same time in the car. about 20 mins in, about 40 min out., so 1 hour round trip.

So over my life, I could be looking at several thousand hours stuck on the train when I could be doing important things, like seeing my family, and enjoying life.

As for bus, well, I may see my kids at the weekend, if I'm back by then.

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Re: me n my car weigh 1500kg

To all the above replies, sure, some facilities are no longer available locally and some travel is necessary. However I agree with the original poster's point of - why do I need a vehicle weighing 1500-2000 kg to transport 1 person + briefcase, which is the vast majority of commuter trips?

There are smarter ways to travel to optimise both efficiency and speed. Even if public transport isn't delivering you right to your destination, in a car you have more traffic, parking problems etc. Cars are great for suburban + long-distance travel, they really suck in busy urban neighborhoods, a clever system will make use of a combination: park + ride, + extended use of bicycles / scooters / segway-type vehicles in 'bicycle' lanes.

However: under-raod charging??? OK cables are buried so no danger, and 80% transmission is pretty good, but are these guys proposing to dig up a huge proportion of millions of km of road worldwide, underlay with presumably very expensive metal and redo the road surface again??? It's insane, considering that fast-charging + swappable battery packs can be made practical for much less investment in infrastructure

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They're thinking about this all wrong.

What you need is an insulated rod sticking out of the floorpan with a metal brush contact on each side. Then cut a slot into the middle of each lane of the motorway and lay metal tracks along either side of it. Wire these tracks in pairs to a high current DC supply. Lane changing can be facilitated by randomly placing slot crossovers - ideally just after a long, fast corner or humpback bridge. As an added bonus, traffic police can adjust the maximum speed on the road by using a handheld variable resistor wired into the DC supply.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They're thinking about this all wrong.

Yes, but will it scale? Heck's tricks!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They're thinking about this all wrong.

Yes, but you'd need recovery vehicles positioned on every corner to put the cars back on the road.

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FAIL

Well to wheel efficiency

the well to wheel efficiency of an EV is something between 1.5 to 2x that of a petrol car. Even accounting for 20% losses, you still come out on top.

Maths. Use it.

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Pint

I for one love the smell of ozone in the morning.

Magnetic inductance charging as is now accepted as a next-gen phone thing makes more sense Shirley?

A lot of traffic lights already have inductance loops.

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Happy

Heat dissipation.

So in the future, when you give your car some serious welly, its tyres really will burst into flames?

Cool......

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