Charging pads could keep EVs on the go

7th February, 2011 by Anonymous

Worried your EV won't make it home for dinner? Fear no more...

Remember Scaletrix? Well, the prospect of cars that take energy from the surface under their wheels now looks like it may be poised to scale up to the real world.

At the moment electric vehicle (EV) users depend on access to a socket to power up, which means that they worry that their car’s battery is going to let them down at an inopportune moment. But technology development company HaloIPT says it is close to perfecting a solution to what it calls “charge anxiety”.

It has demonstrated adapted electric cars in London that recharge automatically while parked over a transmitter pad on the road surface. And the company, which is backed by the engineering consultancy Arup, says cars that recharge as they move over electrified roads could be feasible in the not so far distant future.

Halo’s Inductive Power Transfer employs the same technology that is used to recharge electric toothbrushes. Other companies are working on wireless charging, but HaloIPT says its approach is more practical as it allows for a greater gap between charging pads.

But David Bott, director of innovation programmes at government advisor the Technology Strategy Board, questions the usefulness of wireless charging. “The transfer is less efficient if your car is not plugged in,” he told Green Futures. “At the moment plugging in works – and it’s cheap.”

- Julian Rollins

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