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Prices of electric cars are falling. But a;though they are finally becoming affordable, the problem of charging them remains to be solved. Charging points are few and far between, charging still takes several hours, and what happens if your battery goes flat halfway to the airport?
Sven Beiker, the Executive Director of the Centre for Automotive Research at Stanford University in California, said “WIth an electric vehicle there are not that many charging stations around and also if you find a charging station it might take hours to actually replenish or recharge your vehicle so you might not make it with in time to your destination.”
In California, a research team at Stanford University has designed a charging system using magnetic fields to transmit electricity to car batteries wirelessly. Their ambition is to develop an all-electric road that automatically charges vehicles as they travel along the road. Sven Beiker explained: “Well wireless charging, is as the word suggests… you charge the vehicle but you don’t have a physical connection between the charging infrastructure and the vehicle. That means that you can transmit the power as we do it here at Stanford University through a magnetic resonance coupling. That means we have a coil in the road surface and a coil in the car and they oscillate in sync and therefore get the energy across.”
Scientists estimate that electric cars cost around half as much per kilometre as conventional petrol and diesel cars, and obviously they are better from the environment, they are not only cleaner but also make no noise at all. But to date, the problem of range – how far an electric car can go before the battery runs flat – remains a disincentive to buying one.
But this wireless charging system could be the answer. It’s effortless, and it cuts out the inconvenience of waiting several hours for your battery to recharge.