Word on the Street: Recharging
New technology could ameliorate range anxiety for EVs (via Gizmag)
One thing we keep hearing about electric vehicles -- in the comments, in the e-mails, etc. -- and one thing we keep worrying about ourselves is the following: How can we trust something with a limited range that we can't recharge?
After all, it's not like electronic charging stations are a common sight, like gas stations; mostly, EV manufacturers ask us to juice up overnight and not extend our range beyond what the car can handle. It's called "range anxiety," and it's a big reason why many people don't trust electric vehicles.
Thanks to electrical conduction through magnets, though, that same range anxiety may be something science can solve. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology is developing in-road charging technology for its own Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV). The concept is to bury inductive loops in significant roadways to generate a magnetic field that would supply EVs with energy -- idling, moving or parked -- sans cables and connectors. The technology is already in use in automobile production plants: Juiced robotic floor conveyors automatically steer vehicles through the assembly line.
In the real world, though, nothing comes free, or easy -- even magic electricity from the road. Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips could be employed to charge drivers for the juice they suck up while stuck in traffic, and the infrastructure costs required to make such a plan a widespread reality is beyond comprehension.
Still, it's a neat plan, and given the fact that every major automaker in the U.S. has jumped on the EV bandwagon, it's something we may see sooner rather than later.
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