Let's just wire the roads in sections, say 5 miles of the HOV lane. Use that juice to power the vehicle or recharge onboard batteries. Have "toll booths" every so often where drivers can swipe their cards to pay for amount of charge used. You wouldn't have to tear up thousands of miles of road, just cut a groove & lay the "wire". No this won't be for everybody but it makes the switch to electrics much more attractive.
The problem with hot swaps is there is no battery pack standard & nobody seems to address that.
@Beth,I agree with you completely. It's a nice thought but it will never happen. The main reason? Money. This paragraph caught my eye:
"To make it all happen, every "powered roadway" would need a very heavy cable running alongside it to carry huge the amounts of current needed for long stretches of roadway. "
Number one: Heavy cabling? You realize that we are on the downward slope of most of the natural resources on this planet. Copper used to be real easy to mine. Dig a hole, follow the seam. The low-hanging fruit is gone now. Copper prices have skyrocketed in the last 10 years.
Number two: Huge amounts of current. Here we are, back to electricity generation again. Just exactly how much electricity does it take to move a car down the road one mile with this system?
Cute idea, but we should really be investing in conventional rail, not high-speed. Just get trains running from one city to another on-time.
This has been floated round since Tesla's day, and except for niche applications (induction heating) it doesn't pass the back of the envelope calculation test. We'll see all-electric railroads here sooner.
Any genius can come up with solutions to problems as long as they don't have to pay for them. How many of us have thought "what if" -- and then realized the biggest obstacle is not the technology but the money. Even the Stanford brains admit they can't figure out how to fund this obviously wallet-emptying idea. Meh. [Edited: Speaking of brains, even I got it wrong. I originally had said MIT when it is Stanford. Must be catching.]
This is a neat idea, but it's not going to be practical for years. It suffers from the chicken and egg problem. Do you build cars that can use it first or do you build the infrastructure first. (note the E85 cars we have now - most of them can't get E85)
Since we are contemplating changing the infrastructure, why don't we look at what we could do now? By making parking lot spaces "pull throug" we wouldn't be wasting gas backing cars up. By making all the traffic lights "smart" lights (which could be done with cameras) you would eliminate millions of wasted gallons of fuel caused by cars idling at uneccesary stops as well as the gas needed to bring them back up to speed after that stop. And these changes would act on every car in the system now - not just special electric cars.
These are changes that our government could cram down our throat that would actually help everyone.
Similar to the EV arguments regarding range - how practical is it to have a car that can only use a limited set of roadways?Not too many consumers can afford to buy a car for limited use.Granted, a hybrid version of this could allow for operation away from the electrified roads and still reap the weight benefits.
I would also like to see the power requirements to keep a highway running at speed.I haven't put pencil to paper, but I would suspect that as the number of coiled cars on the highway grows, the less energy will be available, and everything will slow to a crawl.With adequate power this might not be a problem since the speed of traffic is usually inversely proportional to the number of cars on the road anyway.
I almost want to say that fleet vehicles that run set routes would be a good place to start.If the cost was right, this would alleviate the fuel logistics costs of a fleet.But to keep costs affordable it may require widespread adoption to repay the capital of building the roadways.
What about the efficiency of the system? With the push towards higher efficiencies in vehicles, will technology be competitive and meet regulatory efficiency requirements? I suspect that overcoming the energy losses in the system will be a major challenge regardless of the economics of other aspects of the system.
You could have the car's electric coil metered to measure the amount of charge gathered from the roadway. The cars could then transmit the data to a billing center.
The roadway providers would have to find a way to split that up equitably. GPS could also be used to determine which roadways the car used and for how long if different utilities provided for different sections.
The Panama Canal— the largest construction project in history at the time— cost $375 million in 1913 dollars. The CPI from that time to today has grown 21.2X, making the cost in 2008 dollars about 7.95 billion dollars. So $800 billion today would buy from scratch, 100 Panama Canals. This is approximately the Wall Street Bailout.
Here's another, perhaps more practical purchase–
The approximate cost of constructing a twin track 10,000 km maglev train system including 300 kph trains, tunnels, bridges and stations, between major US cities is about $800 billion. Average construction cost would be about $USD 50 million per kilometer. About 1200 maglev cars would be needed. The rolling stock would cost only US$20 billion.
So electric cars are fine, and I'll be a buyer someday. But let's build something amazing.
We looked at a number of sources to determine this year's greenest cars, from KBB to automotive trade magazines to environmental organizations. These 14 cars emerged as being great at either stretching fuel or reducing carbon footprint.
Healthcare might seem to be an unlikely target application for the Internet of Things technology, but recent developments show small ways that big-data is going to make an impact on patient care moving into the future.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is