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Goodbye petrol stations? EVs could recharge through their tyres as a developer team manages to send electricity through 12 inches of concrete

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Posted / Last update: 10-07-2012
As the fuel revolution begins in earnest and we begin to reduce our dependence on petrol, one key question remains: How do we charge up on the go? While many electronic refuel stops are now being built alongside roads across the country, a Japanese team of researchers has come up with another method, after demonstrating a way of sending electricity through 12 inches of concrete

The technological achievement could see cars being recharged through special tyres that could such charge up through the tarmac while on the move.

The Toyohashi University of Technology say there are no technological hurdles to bringing 'EVER' - or Electric Vehicle on Electrified Roadway - to the roads, other than gaining mass-approval and adoption. The team's demonstration last week used the same concrete as used for public roads in Japan, and showed electricity being sent through six inches of road surface.

In the demo, electricity between 50 and 60 watts was sent to actual tyres, with a light-bulb lighting up to show how the electricity was moving from the base, through six inches of concrete, and then into full-size automobile tyres.

Lead professor Takashi Ohir said the concrete could be scaled up to 12 inches without a problem, although the voltage would need be scaled up 100 times in order to power a car. However Ohir said this was not a technical issue. He added that the efficiency of the power transmission through the concrete was 80-90 per cent or higher.

Other companies are looking at similar technology, such as Toyota, which suggests a system of metal plates on the road.

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