And now; electric roads
An article on the website TruthDive suggests that cars could, in the future, be powered by electrified roadways, thus eliminating car batteries. Masahiro Hanazawa at Toyota Central R and D Labs in Nagakute, Aichi, Japan, and Takashi Ohira at Toyohashi University of Technology, also in Aichi, are developing a system that transmits electric power through steel belts placed inside two tyres and a metal plate in the road.
“Our approach exploits a pair of tyres, which are always touching a road surface,” Hanazawa said. To test how much energy would be lost as electricity travelled through the tyres’ rubber, Hanazawa and Ohira set up a lab experiment in which they put metal plates on the floor and inside a tyre.
“Less than 20 per cent of the transmitted power is dissipated in the circuit,” Ohira said. Work is on-going but both scientists admit that a practical system is still a long way off.