America: Ongoing Experiment to Convert Road into a Charger

Electric cars are in a lot of discussions these days. However, if we look at the sales figures, this year electric vehicle sales are expected to be less than 4 percent of the total sales of cars.
America: Ongoing Experiment to Convert Road into a Charger
America: Ongoing Experiment to Convert Road into a Charger Image Credit: DB

Electric cars are in a lot of discussions these days. However, if we look at the sales figures, this year electric vehicle sales are expected to be less than 4 percent of the total sales of cars. One of the major reasons for this is that easy recharge facilities are not available during long journeys. The EV’s range, charging time, and charging station availability are all a distant dream at the moment.

Purdue University plans to launch the world’s first wireless charging

America: Ongoing Experiment to Convert Road into a Charger
America: Ongoing Experiment to Convert Road into a Charger Image Credit: TOI

Charging time is also a big problem. To solve this problem, work is going on to build such roads, which will also charge the cars when they move. For this, a technology called inductive charging is being developed. In July this year, Indiana’s Department of Transportation and Purdue University plans to launch the world’s first wireless charging concrete highway.

Concrete has been developed by the German company Magment

An engineering research center called Aspire is working on this project. It is getting funding from the National Science Foundation. Nadia, Campus Director, Aspire, says that our aim is to charge electric vehicles while on the road. For this, magnetic concrete technology is used, in which metal elements such as iron oxide, nickel, and zinc are mixed. This concrete has been developed by the German company Magment. Currently, this technology is being tested in several phases. It is a bit like charging a mobile phone wirelessly.

America: Ongoing Experiment to Convert Road into a Charger
America: Ongoing Experiment to Convert Road into a Charger Image Credit: The New York Times

Current in a concrete mixture creates a magnetic field

It is made magnetized by running an electric current through the concrete mixture. This creates a magnetic field that charges the vehicle by powering it wirelessly. A 12 ft long by 4 ft wide plate or box made of a patented material is buried a few inches down the road. By connecting this box to the power grid, the current is run in it. It is transmitted, which powers the EV running on the road. This power is obtained through a small box installed in the car.

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