Enthusiasm for electric vehicles has long been held back by concerns about battery life, but what if drivers were able to charge their cars while driving?
Several automotive, utility and infrastructure companies are testing technology that promises to allow electric cars, buses and trucks to charge on the move. The process, known as dynamic charging, involves under-road pads that wirelessly transmit electricity to receivers mounted underneath cars and, for some larger vehicles, overhead wires like those used by trams.
In France, Renault SA has teamed up with Electricite de France SA to test dynamic charging on the streets of Paris. In Sweden, trucking giant Scania AB has developed a truck with utility E.ON SE that can be charged overhead and is ready for mass production, while a startup will soon test wirelessly charged buses in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.
“Charging should not be considered a pain and should not act as a brake on electric vehicle use and deployment,” said Xavier Serrier, who is leading Renault’s charging project. “Technically speaking, it works,” he said of the technology.