In the race to go green, electric cars and electric hybrids are being developed in large numbers all over the world. Using electricity in cars has some inherent disadvantages though. For one, you can never do long distances comfortably, depending on electricity alone. Solving the problems of range has always been a challenge for the makers. Thus, large storage batteries and quick recharging options are being explored continuously. But when small improvements do not seem to yield results, it is time for the quantum leap. We present to you five ‘electrifying’ concepts that promise to change the way we recharge the batteries of our electric vehicles (EVs)!
1. El-Assist recharging concept lets electric vehicles recharge on the move
Industrial designer Vladimir Abramov has arrived at a unique cross between a train and a car. This concept plans to use the pre-existing, overhead transmission lines network which run trams and trains. When on long commutes, the cars can use the support vehicles on the power lines to recharge themselves. Since the power lines’ network is in a fixed route, a further advancement of the concept is possible. This involves incorporating shuttles that auto pilot while the batteries recharge, thus allowing the driver some valuable relaxation on long journeys.The concept also aims at encouraging car pooling of sorts wherein the car owners would take passengers in exchange for the electricity that is provided by the system.
2. Developing electric cars that recharge as you drive
Here is some wonderful news from the fast track! HalolPT in partnership with Drayson Racing Technologies has finalized a concept that would recharge the batteries of your electric car wirelessly, even as you drive. It is being tested on an experimental basis for race cars to start with. The concept involves embedding transmitters below the surface of the track or road. Through an inductive power transfer technology which uses wireless data and electricity transfer, the car captures power from these embedded transmitters. This means that there is no need of long charging hours or carrying bulky batteries.That is such an amazing concept right? The concept requires a lot of infrastructure investment no doubt, but it is often a spark that begins a conflagration.
3. Future electric vehicle to race on the expressway without a battery!
You can always trust the Japanese to come up with revolutionary technological advances from time to time! Toyota Central R&D Labs in collaboration with Takashi Ohira of Toyohashi University of Technology have arrived with a concept inspired from their own Shinkansen or the bullet train. The car has a steel belt installed in its tires. High speed inverters planted alongside the track are used to convert electricity into radio frequencies (RF). The RF voltage generated is applied to the metal tracks tucked into the roads. These tracks transmit power to the belt in the car’s wheels through electrical capacitance – a neat ‘hot wheels’ concept! This transmission system is highly efficient and has less than 1dB loss. All that you need for a comfortable cruise now is for you to comfortably cruise!
4. University students develop an electric car that needs no recharge
How do you prevent making stops for fuel recharges? Simple! Have the fuel transferred into the car even as you drive! That was the radical concept that triggered the imagination of a team of fourteen students from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany. Christened as e-Quickie, the ‘car’ or the vehicle is built with receivers under its body. Electricity is beamed wirelessly through electromagnetic induction by conducting paths that are laid on the ground. The receivers store this energy along the way and use it to power this mobile hub. The car has a small battery to act as the back up buffer and weighs only 60 kgs. Though induction is not an efficient way to beam electricity, the concept is novel and set to inspire newer ideas. For now, a car that has zero emissions, zero stoppages for recharge and a 30 mph top speed is thrilling enough.
5. Electric roads to power your car on the move
Improving dramatically on the concept of induction, researchers at the Energy Dynamics Laboratory ( Utah State university) have arrived at a radical concept. In a world where many places don’t have roads or roads with electrification, they speak of electric roads! It involves embedding the asphalt with charging pads that receive electricity from the grid. These pads will transmit electricity to the car as it passes over them, making a brief contact. A signalling system will ‘alert’ the upcoming pads about the oncoming vehicle and they will be in readiness to deliver a 5 kW charge from a distance of about 10 inches. While the charge delivery is perfect, Seoul in South Korea, is building electric roads to improve the time of charge delivery.