If there is one thing that may be holding people back from embracing electric vehicles with open arms, is the fact that it seems to be unnecessarily troublesome to drive one around. Not only is the range on EVs ridiculously short, but their charge times are incredibly long too, making it inconvenient and always having to plan your journey. Now the concept of roads which constantly keep your EV charged while driving is not a new one, and many others have thought of it before, and lately Toyota Central R&D Labs together with Toyohashi University of Technology are looking to join that list.
Much like other solutions in the past (such as the picture above which is concept from a German technology company, Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr), it involves digging up the roads to install metal plates under the surface. The metal plates will be electrified and “up-convert” energy via a radio frequency to steel belts that have been built into the car’s tires, along with a plate sitting above the tire.
At the moment, testing of the system uses low voltages, but researchers are saying that this could allow future electric vehicles to be lighter than they are today, as they would require smaller battery packs. Considering how the Chevy Volt’s battery assembly weighs a staggering 435 pounds, a lighter battery would indeed be welcome. While these concepts are great, ripping up roads and installing these plates can be costly and time consuming, not to mention in the process causing quite a bit of inconvenience. However if this were to be made into a reality, would you be more willing to purchase an electric vehicle knowing that you probably will never have to charge it again?