The British government is to begin a multi-million pound trial of new road technology that will allow electric cars to recharge on the move in a bid to meet the growing demand for more sustainable vehicles.
The system, similar to the Qualcomm charging pads used to power the safety car in Formula E, will wirelessly power cars by transferring power from an electric cable buried in the road to the cars passing above. It is expected that this will dramatically extend the range of electric vehicles across the UK road network, reducing the long charging times that have hampered widespread sales to date.
The approach is not a new concept, but this marks the first major support from the UK to enact such technology. Highways England has pledged to test the ‘dynamic wireless power transfer’ systems for 18 months, with over £4.1 million invested in the study.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders states that more than 35,000 electric cars have been registered in Britain since 2001. As yet it is too early to understand the impact of Formula E on the sales of electric vehicles worldwide.