Electric Vehicles Could Wirelessly Charge While Driving According to Researchers

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Cornell researchers are trying to build a future where electric vehicle owners can charge their cars wirelessly without stopping. We’ve seen ideas for “plugless EV charging” in the past, but this takes charging to a different level.

One of the biggest roadblocks for EVs right now is charging. A recent report suggests that 1 in 5 electric owners in California switch back to gas because finding and waiting for chargers is a hassle and potentially dangerous.

However, researchers at Cornell University have developed technology that could turn our roads into wireless chargers. It’s a system where drivers only need to change lanes to top off the battery.

Cornell Electrical and Computer Engineer Khurram Afridi has spent the last seven years working on the tech and wants to put wireless charging lanes on the highway. Like tollways, you could drive into a charging lane, refill the juice, and pay for it all simultaneously. That, or get a bill later if you didn’t pay your charging toll.

This isn’t just for electric vehicles, either. Cornell’s engineers say this can work with electric vehicles, autonomous forklifts, and other mobile machines, all while they remain in motion.

Afridi and his team are using an idea that’s over 100 years old from Nikola Tesla. Basically, creating a charging system that would use two insulated metal plates on the ground and a high-frequency inverter to create oscillating electrical fields. Then, EV cars can attract and repel those charges with similar metal plates under the vehicle. Instead of a magnetic charging field, which is a closed-loop, this is an open-ended system that works while the receiving device is still in motion going through the electrical fields.

Neat, right? Obviously, a project like this would require government and state approval, not to mention millions of dollars invested into road and highway upgrades. However, Afridi sees this as a way to build infrastructure to match the technology available today and in the future.

via Business Insider