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In the future, electromagnetic roads may charge your cars while you drive

Stanford University researchers have created a wireless way to charge your electric vehicles as you drive so EVs will never run out of juice halfway through a road trip.

Following Stanford University’s recent testing on Honda’s Fit electric vehicles, researchers at the university are now developing a new wireless system that will magnetically charge your EVs while you are driving.

The idea came after researchers recognized the disadvantages of electric vehicles’ limited driving ranges which may use less energy but run at a weaker strength. For example, the Nissan Leaf is only capable of driving less than 100 miles on a single full charge. To fully recharge the Leaf’s battery, users will have to wait approximately 10 hours and cannot bet on charging stations to be around on long trips. These drawbacks with EVs have not been addressed to date, discouraging the general market from making the move from traditional cars.

To combat this problem, Stanford researchers have created a “charge-as-you-drive” network which utilizes copper coils that will be embedded in highway roads and under the belly of the EVs. The coils will be tuned to the same natural frequency and as the car moves, a process called “magnetic resonance coupling” occurs, meaning when the road coils that are connected to an electric current power up, they send electricity to the receiving coil in the car and thus charging the EV’s battery.

“What makes this concept exciting is that you could potentially drive for an unlimited amount of time without having to recharge,” said Richard Sassoon, the managing director of the Stanford Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), which funded the research. “You could actually have more energy stored in your battery at the end of your trip than you started with.”
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