Japanese researchers charge EVs – through vehicle tires

Bringing EVs to mainstream consumers is a challenge the auto industry has yet to overcome.

Yes, there are currently a number of EVs on American roads, but they all have practical limitations keeping the average driver from considering the purchase of an electric vehicle. Consumer concerns include the high cost of purchase, (relatively)  low driving range and the length of time it takes to recharge the batteries.

Clearly, the automotive industry needs to overcome some or all of the above-mentioned issues before the average consumer considers replacing their traditional gasoline-powered vehicles with an electrically powered ride.

There is more than one way to address the many issues plaguing EVs, ranging from higher capacity batteries to batteries that charge faster.

Of course, wireless charging would be nice for EVs as well, and there are currently a number of wireless charging systems in the works.

For example, a team of researchers from the Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan recently demonstrated a new electric vehicle charging system that is capable of charging a vehicle’s batteries – via vehicle tires and through 4-inches of concrete. Essentially, the idea is that the charging plates can be installed under roads and highways – transmitting power to the vehicle as it drives.

During the demonstration, researchers placed the metal plate under four-inch blocks of concrete, transmitting between 50 and 60 W of electricity through actual size automobile tires to a light bulb between the two tires and making the light bulb glow.

The researchers have dubbed their project EVER, or Electric Vehicle on Electrified Roadway. The ultimate goal? To develop a system capable of enabling electric vehicles to achieve (on-road) unlimited driving distance – something which would surely help persuade consumers to consider the purchase of EVs.