LONDON: In a first-of-its-kind trial, UK is testing a road surface that can charge low-emission electric and hybrid vehicles on the go.
Off road trials of the technology needed to power electric cars on England’s major roads are due to take place later this year.
The trials are the first of their kind and will test how the technology would work safely and effectively on the country’s motorways and major roads, allowing drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles to travel long distances without needing to stop and charge the car’s battery.
The trials follow the completion of the feasibility study commissioned by Highways England into ‘dynamic wireless power transfer’ technologies.
“The potential to recharge low emission vehicles on the move offers exciting possibilities.
The government is already committing 500 million pounds over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology, which will help boost jobs and growth in the sector,” said Transport Minister Andrew Jones in a statement.
“As this study shows, we continue to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses,” said Jones.
“Vehicle technologies are advancing at an ever increasing pace and we’re committed to supporting the growth of ultra-low emissions vehicles on our England’s motorways and major A roads,” said Highways England Chief Highways Engineer Mike Wilson.
“The off road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country,” said Wilson.
The trials are expected to begin later this year following the completion of an ongoing procurement process.
The trials will involve fitting vehicles with wireless technology and testing the equipment, installed underneath the road, to replicate motorway conditions.
The trials are expected to last for approximately 18 months and, subject to the results, could be followed by on road trials.