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It Actually Works: An Electric Train Charged by the Road

Back in October, we heard about a German company that was patenting a system whereby the road itself could charge electric vehicles as they...


Back in October, we heard about a German company that was patenting a system whereby the road itself could charge electric vehicles as they drove on it. Well, I'm happy to report that we have a working prototype of this idea:
South Korean researchers Tuesday launched an environmentally friendly public transport system using a "recharging road" -- with a vehicle sucking power magnetically from buried electric strips. The Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), towing three buses, went into service at an amusement park in southern Seoul. If the prototype proves successful, there are plans to try it out on a bus route in the capital.
The OLEV was developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (not by the Germans) and it's limited to this theme park tram. To scale it up to public streets, there would have to be some analysis of whether creating a sufficiently comprehensive network of these underground strips is economically feasible. And obviously, it might make the most sense to experiment first with public transportation systems that run in dense cities along pre-determined routes. There also might be some public concern about magnetic waves.But that said, it's great to see this first proof of concept. Lots of awesome things you hear about on the internet never become anything more than awesome things you hear about on the internet.
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