England developing electric highways

Barry Cooper writes a good article in the Leicester Mercury about plants to install wireless power-transfer technology under roadways. This follows similar developments in South Korea where such systems charge its public buses as they are underway. Does anyone know about similar developments?


Electric motorways to be put to the test in England

Drivers in Britain could soon by driving on electric motorways according to plans unveiled by Highways England.

The government agency have announced that they are looking into the prospect of motorway and major A roads being installed with wireless power-transfer technology which would be located underneath the road surface.

Highways England have completed a feasibility study looking into the project and how much it will cost, after the government committed £500 million over the next five years to keep the country at the forefront of technology.

Utilising new power-transfer technology, it would build the wireless networks underneath motorways and the major “A” roads throughout the country, meaning that electric vehicles could be charged as they travel.

Similar technology is already in use in South Korea. The town of Gumi introduced OLEV (online electric vehicles) back in August 2013, which has roads that charge its public buses, thought to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

In this country, Milton Keynes introduced a system where buses wirelessly charge via plates built into the road, however, the vehicles are required to stop for a period of time while they receive the charge boost.

In a statement from the government, 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.”

The trials are expected to take around 18-months before anything would then be trialled on roads used by the public.

Highways England Chief Highways Engineer Mike Wilson said: “Vehicle technologies are advancing at an ever increasing pace and we’re committed to supporting the growth of ultra-low emissions vehicles on our England’s motorways and major A roads.

“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.”

The organisation say that once a contractor has been appointed, they will publicise more details.

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