Using solar roads for power generation is an idea that is being tested by the U.S. DOE. Over in Korea, tests involving a road giving up some power are underway. Instead of sucking up sunlight, the prototype roads send energy upwards to small electric vehicles through touchless magnetic induction technology. Developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST), the OLEV (On Line Electric Vehicle) system uses buried power cables in the road and a receiving unit in the EVs traveling on it. KAIST says that power is transferred at 80 percent efficiency when going through a centimeter of air (not exactly practical for today's cars) and is 60 percent efficient through 12 centimeters. KAIST is working to make the OLEV a suitable business prospect.
As tipster Yanquetino writes, "I opine that we will still need batteries in our EVs, but... laying such cables down a specialized lane of our Interstates would eliminate range anxiety once and for all. Rather than installing charging stations all over the planet, might as well spend the money on something like this." Thanks for the tip!
[Source: DesignBoom via All Cars Electric]