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.
Companies are testing technology that promises to allow electric vehicles to wirelessly charge as they drive.
“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.
Financially speaking, dynamic charging remains questionable. Even the companies involved say they need to find ways to reduce the cost of connecting roads to the grid and make the technology economically viable, partly through scale. They also say any rollout would likely be limited to cities and key transportation and trucking routes because of the huge infrastructure investment needed.
The effort to charge cars on the go—seen as a complement rather than a rival to regular EV charging—comes as governments and companies around the world work to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Major economies including Germany, the U.K., and France have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050 and encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles is a part of that drive. The U.K., for instance, will stop selling new diesel and gasoline cars and vans starting in 2030.