Wireless charging technology has been around for a few years now in the marketplace, with various products such as the Duracell Powermat and the feint memory that was the Palm Pre. The technology behind it is fairly simple, relying on the basic principle of electromagnetic induction.
When the charger and the chargee are moving objects, though, things become a bit more complicated. However, in South Korea a road featuring this technology has just been opened, servicing a fleet of buses. In theory, these inductive roads solve the main problems surrounding electric vehicles: the cost, weight and capacity of batteries.
The test route in South Korea spans 7.5 miles and is the first attempt worldwide at bringing this technology into use. There are only two buses operating on this route which can use this technology, however this will be increased by around 10 in the next two years.
The major drawback of this particular system is the cost involved with installing it, as a significant portion of the road needs to be dug up to install the required cables. A number of experts have suggested that other solutions which only charge buses at specific points on their routes will be more cost effective.
Other types of technology have been trialed in Italy and the Netherlands, which wirelessly charge vehicles at bus stops along their routes, topping up the batteries to extend their range.
KitGuru says: An interesting technology, however we would question it’s viability as a widespread solution to charging electric vehicles.