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Buses can be charged as they drive

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has developed a pair of electric buses called Online Electric Vehicles or OLEV. These buses are different from your typical electric vehicles that have to be parked to recharge the batteries. Instead, they can recharge while driving down the road.
Electricity is sent to the bus via cables buried in the road with an 85% maximum power transfer efficiency rate (the wireless charging technology is able to supply 60 kHz and 180 kW of power at a stable and constant rate). There is a gap of just under seven inches between the underbody of the electric bus and the road surface. The charging system uses Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance [PDF] to transfer power to the bus while it’s in motion.

The underbody of the bus has a receiving device that is able to convert the magnetic fields into electricity. The power strips needed to power the bus only cover 5 to 15 percent of the road surface, so only small sections of road have to be rebuilt to provide service.

Both of the OLEV buses are currently operating in the city of Gumi, South Korea. As of August 6, the buses are running an intercity route between the Gumi Train Station and In-dong district spanning 15 miles round-trip.
The technology used in the OLEV buses is an offshoot of tech used to power trams at an amusement park in South Korea.

Sources:, KAIST

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RE: huh
By Hoser McMoose on 8/7/2013 6:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
There are two really big problems I can see with this setup for widespread use of such a technology:

1. *HUGE* infrastructure cost to dig up the roads and put in the electric grid. Sure you can wait until you need to dig up the roads and repave them anyway, but that means that it will take a VERY long time before you have decent enough coverage to make it practical.

2. Along with the issue of generating and transmitting the electricity, this would tend to make things much worse than batteries that are charged after a trip is ended. Since these cars would need to be getting charged while they are driving you need to generate the electricity when people are driving most, and that means a lot of extra generating capacity required at rush hour times. Unfortunately the afternoon/evening rush hour already closely corresponds to peak electricity demand. Where the 'charge after the trip' batteries could mostly be scheduled to charge overnight (low demand), these 'charge on the fly' cars will add a lot of demand at near peak times.

The result is a lot more generating capacity required, more upgrades to transmission facilities and less efficient spread of when electricity is generated. The latter is particularly bad for nukes which really work best when they can generate full power 24/7 rather than having to ramp up for a few 'peak' hours in the late afternoon then scale back down to almost nothing overnight.

RE: huh
By Jeffk464 on 8/7/2013 8:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
2 is a really good point

RE: huh
By ShieTar on 8/27/2013 9:09:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'm going to say it is a semi-good point. As long as batteries remain rather heavy, there might still be a point in storing electricity in static batteries and supplying the energy to the lighter cars with the smaller batteries. This also has the benefit that all the battery-capacity is always connected. When the batteries remain in the cars, they will still often be parked without a connection to the power network.

Setting up a nation-wide system seems unlikely for now, but it might by an interesting perspective for a single big city. Once you installed it on all streets for your public transport, at least cabs and local delivery services could adopt their cars to also use it. Your trash trucks and maybe firetrucks, police cars can be equiped with it. And possibly a good number of people will buy themselves city-cars for the daily trips, and keep a second long-distance car. Or you just set up an effective Car-Sharing service for such city-cars.

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