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UK Highways Agency Testing Electric Motorways

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 18th August 2015

It doesn’t seem real and when I first read this story I thought it was a hoax. However a quick check on the highways agency website shows that the UK will be one of the first countries in the world to experiment with roads that can charge an electric car wirelessly as it drives along. The thought of electrifying our roads seems crazy at first until you realise that we have been doing it for years with Rail and how much safer this new technology is. It works by powering coils under the surface of the road which transmit electricity to receiver coils fitted to cars. It is similar to technology used in new smart phones that can charge without plugging a cable in.

This will allow the cars to simply recharge whilst they cruise down the motorway at 70mph and eliminate one of the most restrictive aspects of owning an electric vehicle, “Range Anxiety”. Range anxiety is something that effects most electric car owners. Due to the restricted infrastructure at present most electric car owners must ensure their cars are fully charged and also plan their trips carefully to ensure they can make it all the way there and all the way back again. It is deemed to be one of the biggest issues holding back the sale of electric cars in the world today.

Experts predict that over the next few years electric vehicle ownership with continue to increase at a rapid rate and as such investment in infrastructure and new technology will be key. If the range issue can be well and truly solved then we really will see an explosion in electric vehicles.

Off road trials of this new technology will last around 18 months so we are still a long way off, however if successful it could really be a game changer.

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. As this study shows, we continue to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses.”

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.”

At present there is a huge demand for new charging points and this shows no signs of slowing up. Battery technology is improving and Highways England is also committed to installing plug-in charging points every 20 miles (32.1km) on its motorway network over the "longer-term".

If you are already working as an electrician you can train in EV car charging point installation in as little as 2 days and can then install both domestic and public car charging points. As technology moves forwards growth will be amplified and it seems that electric cars and maybe electric roads could really be the future.




Categories: renewables