The new development will explore embedding recycled ferrite particles into concrete as a more economical option for electric charging on the road
Spotted: A major impediment to the adoption of electric vehicles is the fear of running out of power before reaching a destination. Given that electric battery technology still falls short of gasoline-powered automobiles, an increasingly attractive solution is the idea of roads that could charge vehicles as they drive.
Indiana’s Department of Transport (INDOT) recently announced a collaboration with Purdue University and German wireless charging company Magment to explore this propsect further. Together, the organisations will test whether cement with embedded magnetised particles could provide an affordable road-charging system.
At present, inductive charging underlies most wireless vehicle powering technologies. This process requires electricity to be pumped into a wire coil that creates a magnetic field and induces an electric current in any neighbouring wire coils. However, installing miles and miles of copper under the road is expensive and resource-intensive. Instead, Magment’s concept is to embed recycled ferrite particles into road concrete. Not only are the particles conductive and capable of generating a magnetic field, They are also significantly more economical.
The company has stated that it hopes the innovation will be able to “achieve transmission efficiency of up to 95 per cent and can be built at standard road-building installation costs.”
The Indiana project will consist of two phases of lab testing and an additional trial run prior to installation. It is estimated that the first will cost around €1 million per kilometre and the second test is projected to cost around €10.61 million in total.
If successful, the technology would help drivers save time and feel safer, in addition to paving the way for more sustainable transit.
Written By: Katrina Lane
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