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The electric bus that charges when driven

The fledgling electric vehicle industry is fraught with problems including so-called ‘range anxiety’ and the long wait for charging at stations, but an EV developed in South Korea could show us a glimpse of future public transport.

The Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is an electric vehicle t″>hat can be charged while stationary or driving — removing the lengthy wait at a charging station between trips.

This is one of first examples of fully-electric transport currently on the road. Unlike a tram, the OLEV doesn’t need pantographs to feed power from electric wires strung above a route; instead, the vehicle is fed power wirelessly through “shaped magnetic field in resonance (SMFIR)” technology. Developed by KAIST, the technology sustains vehicles from electrical cables buried under the surface of the road. Magnetic fields are formed, and a receiving device installed on the underbody of the OLEV converts these fields into electricity.

Only a few sections — roughly five to 15 percent — of road had to be rebuilt with such cables for the OLEV to run.


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