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Motorways could feature in-built electric charging facilities to top up cars on the move

Motorways could have dynamic induction charging technology which could push electricity into the car while the vehicle is travelling on the road. The expert claims the technology could be implemented into motorways to help boost the transition to electric vehicles.

Private investors could even come on board to help build the project because of the commercial viability of the scheme.

Dan Martin, CEO of Elmtronics said: “We have technologies in development such as ‘dynamic induction charging’ in which vehicles can charge whilst on the move.

“As a country we should really be looking at how this technology can be integrated into motorways, particularly to help haulage operators charge whilst maintaining uptime.

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“The investment into the R&D and implementation of trials will be significant however because of the commercial viability of ‘in transit’ charging there is the opportunity to leverage private funders to facilitate and accelerate this.

READ MORE: Smart motorway deaths could have been stopped says AA

Electric cars could charge as motorists drive over them (Image: Getty)

Charging technology could be cheap to install (Image: Birmingham Mail)

“The motorway of the future is going to be a very different place, it will be much more efficient, cleaner and a safer place to be.”

The technology would work through a method known as induction charging where electricity is transferred between an air gap.

Magnetic coils will be located inside the road with a link to the vehicle. Once the coils are aligned car charging would start.

Similar technology is already available with motorists able to purchase products such as charging pads for their vehicles.

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Taxi’s in Nottingham are currently trailing similar technology which charges the cars while they are parked in official taxi ranks.

The £3.4million trial is to test alternatives to simply using conventional plugs and charging stations.

Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and industrial targets said the pilot could boost the number of electric cars on UK roads.

She said: “Charging technology, including wireless, is vital in giving consumers confidence to make the switch from petrol to electric cars.

“This pioneering trial in Nottingham, and others like it, will help us take crucial steps towards lower emissions and cleaner air.”

Similar road designs are already in operation in Sweden where electric rails have been installed in key roads to help charge vehicles.

The system can detect how much energy each vehicle has got left and then deposit energy to fill the battery.

The cost of the scheme was estimated at around 1million euros per kilometre meaning it is around 50 times cheaper than building an urban tram line through a city.

Building electric motorways would also ease concerns regarding electric car infrastructure which is lagging in many areas.

There are more electric charging bays in the UK than petrol stations but crucially these are mainly based in urban areas.

The implementation of electric roads means road users may not need to go out of their way to charge the vehicle which could get more people on board with the scheme.

Speaking to FT, the chairman of a motorway service station group warned the power networks were not fit for purpose for the major change which was coming.

Simon Turl, chair of RoadChef said they had been held up by network operators which own electricity grids.


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