Electric car induction powered road infrastructures

Ok here is the thing. I read the briefing acticle “The electrification of motorisation” (with subtitle: “The electric-fuel-trade acid test”) in The Economist of September 5th-11th 2009, on page 73. I was excited and thrilled to read this article in the hope they could provide me with new information about this subject. Since it is The Economist wiriting, it is ofcourse about the Joule per dollar one can get out of a gas or electrical battery. The thesis continues about the bateries, new developments make Li-ion bateries faster to charge, nanotubes to give the electrones a smooth ride. etc. Then they talk about the infrastructure to recharge and to increase the range of your car. There are mentioned two possibilities: 1. charging station at fuel stations, charging a highspeed (and very expensive) battery for 80% in 30 minutes. 2. swapping stations that replace the depleted battery with a new one (see also the TED talk of Shai Agassi) .

However there is a  third possibility. I have not calculated the physics behind it, but is just starts with an idea. That idea  is a very well known natural phenomena and is called induction. I tried in my young days to get a lightbulb light-up by having an electrical coil placed at the wheelfork of my bike and placing magnets on each spoke in reversing order of the north and south pole. Turning the wheel made the bulb light-up.

To drive a car in long distances one can put magnets in the road. Reversing the order of the north and south pole, and put along eachother in a high denstity. Driving over them with a car with a electrical coils beneath, recharges as it goes. It is like having a fuel hose connected to your car. The recharging problem is over. And is even beter then traditional cars, because you can do this with electricity!

Why do we still keep thinking in old paradigms? The solution is very simple, and the solution is real! One can watch the TED talk about Wireless Electricity from Eric Giler.

To power such an in frastructure one can use Solar panels along side the highway that can serve as a sound wall and charging the electrical coils that are placed in the road. See the simple doodle that explains this below.


I am very interested in electric cars, the Tesla roadster is a very nice specimen, but very expensive. It is expencive because of the high powered batteries.  These bateries are placed all over in the car, so the solution of swapping batteries from Shai Agassi is not going to work in this case because one has to fit the car design to sertain functional criteria.

The technologies are all there to make this work. Tell me what you think when you watch these video clips in a row.

And finaly I would like to mention two blogs that contribute to the “Induction powered vehicles” concept.

Googling for this subject has unfortunately been very dissapointing to the result.



Further more, the Dutch government is innovating in this area. A few links:



new addition

People are working on solar panel paint. A test with solar panels along the side of the road shows that they get easilly stolen. So a solution might be to paint surfaces alonside the road infrastructure. The solar panel paint has a lower power conversion, but it can deliver power on cloudy days aswell, providing a sustainable/endurable source of energy.

Article at National Geographic “Spray-on Solar Power”, Jan 2005

Article at HowStuffWorks “How Spray-on Solar Panels Work”, date unknown

Atricle at Cosmos Magazine “Spray-on Solar Panels Developed”, Feb 2009

new Update:

several reports came out based on this

Dutch report from the Ministery of Traffic: Boek Electrisch Rijden

German paper from “Ingenieurgesellschaft Auto und Verkehr” (IAV) : Energy from the Road

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3 responses to “Electric car induction powered road infrastructures”

  1. Turn Signal Switch Avatar

    If this will be the case, I think more precautionary measures should be partaken. More signal lights for the car to avoid electrocution, sturdier wheels to withstand the sudden gush of force from the ground, and also, more power output since it will be using some electric coils which needs generated energy. This is a great idea, but still, we need to be more keen in having ideas that will focus more in renewable energy.

  2. Ignition Wire Set Avatar

    This will be like a car with no ignition or combustion engine. Just a ride which uses kinetic and stored energy from the two opposing forces. this is cool, but I think this is like riding a bump car in the amusement park. hehe

  3. Billy Avatar

    Interesting concept! I don't think this is scalable though?

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