South Korea Tries Recharging Road to Power Vehicles (May 18, 2009) — South Korean university has developed a plan to power electric cars through recharging strips embedded on top of the roads.

kaistThe recharging power strips are about 20 cm to 90 cm wide on top of the roads.Vehicles having sensor-driven magnetic devices on their underside can absorb energy as they travel over the strips without coming into direct contact.

“If we place these strips on about 10 percent of roadways in a city, we could power electric vehicles,” said Cho Dong-ho, the manager of the “online electric vehicle” plan at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

The university has built a prototype at its campus in Daejeon, about 140 miles south of Seoul, for electric-powered golf carts and is working on designs that would power cars and buses.

The recharging strips, which are attached to small electrical stations, would be laid in places such as bus lanes and the roads running up to intersections so that vehicles could power up where traffic slows down, Cho said. A person can touch the strips without receiving a shock.

The system will be tested later this year for use in the bus systems of Seoul and other South Korea cities while some of the country’s automakers are also cooperating in the project.

The installation cost of this system is an estimated $318,000 per kilometer of road.

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