Range anxiety is one of the biggest problems plaguing electric car ownership. Companies like Tesla continue to optimize via software and better batteries, but they are a long way off their fossil fueled counterparts. A recent project in the UK is hoping to help even the playing field.
After a recent feasibility study gave the green light, the UK government has started testing under-road wireless charging technology using real roads; just not ones the general public uses. Yet. Their 18 month plan is to test how well the wireless charging works with electric cars as they drive. If successful, we could soon see special charging lanes for electric cars, allowing drivers to recharge their cars without stopping. This creates some pretty awesome potential. Even petrol heads will enviously admit they could refuel on the go, not unlike fighter jets in flight.
Wireless charging, or induction charging as its known in science circles, has been available in the mobile world for several years. The project faces some daunting challenges, however, before it will ever hit public highways. Electromagnets required for the wireless charging may have some affects on steel walled cars as they drive along side these future charging lanes. Offsetting the cost and energy required to power these large magnets also poses an engineering and logistical challenge. Either way, the UK government will know within 18 months how road friendly the technology is.