Home > On the horizon: Spot opportunities and trends > Korean first recharging road powers electric buses on the go

Korean first recharging road powers electric buses on the go

20130808-234504.jpg South Korea has just switched on the first commercial road in the world where OELVs (Online Electric Vehicles) can be constantly recharged while driving. Electric cables fitted under the pavement are used to generate electromagnetic fields which are picked up by a coil inside the vehicle and converted into electricity. The technology allows electric vehicles (EV) to break through the range barrier, which has hampered EV adoption so far.

Other cities such as Torino, Italy, Utrecht, NL, or Milton-Keynes, UK are experimenting with similar induction recharging technology concentrated at bus stops. Recently, ABB demonstrated its alternative Flash Charging Electrical Bus that plugs in automatically at each stop and can get sufficiently recharged in just 15 seconds to hop to the next stop.

These technologies appear all very costly at this point in time, but the race is on to scale them up and, doing so, drive costs down to a level where the emerging winner(s) can start competing effectively with fuel-based transport.

As I observe the increasing pace of innovation and size of investment in EV, I wonder: is it a bubble or the tipping point?

Please share your views.

  1. September 21, 2013 at 19:45

    Interesting! I’ve also seen an example of a road surface which can recycle the energy of vehicles to power the lights.

    In the induction case above I can see a marketing/communications hill to climb, perhaps. Given peoples’ nervousness of radiation, energy in the air, however they want to view it, I can imagine many potential passengers, or even people who have to pass by this road or live nearby, will need a lot of convincing of its long-term safety.

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