Wireless electric highways
In September 2014, Highways England (then known as the Highways Agency) began a feasibility study to investigate dynamic battery charging systems for electric vehicles (EV). Such a system would allow drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles to travel long distances on the strategic road network without needing to stop and charge. Ref Highways England.
The Highways Agency suggested that there is a continued move towards the introduction of wireless charging as an addition to the standard plug in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The feasibility study was intended to investigate potential solutions that might:
- Mitigate against EV’s running out of power.
- Help reduce fuel costs.
- Have minimum impact on the road surface in terms of installation and maintenance.
- Help achieve better air quality.
- Reduce noise levels.
- Reduce pollution from tailpipe emissions.
It was also expected to asses financial charging mechanisms for energy received by EV owners and to Identify additional services that could be introduced at the same time.
In August 2015, the government announced that following the completion of the feasibility study, off road trials of dynamic wireless power transfer technologies to support electric and hybrid vehicles would take place later in the year. Ref Gov.uk.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said, “The potential to recharge low emission vehicles on the move offers exciting possibilities. The government is already committing £500 million over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology, which will help boost jobs and growth in the sector.”
Highways England Chief Highways Engineer Mike Wilson said, “The off road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country.”
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