Over the last few years, electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell electric vehicles have become increasingly popular among people who want to have a more environmentally friendly way of getting around.
However, these vehicles have never been able to reach mainstream popularity, with the vast majority of vehicle drivers still opting for internal combustion vehicles. This is largely due to a phenomena called “range anxiety”: the fear that an electric vehicle will run out of power while traveling for long distances, with no charging station in sight.
To combat this, the United Kingdom plans to construct plug-in charging stations every 20 miles on its highways — along with another, more futuristic new approach.
According to Forbes, Highways England and the British Government announced that they will soon begin off-road trials on a technology that would allow drivers to wirelessly charge their electric vehicles while driving.
The technology, called Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT), involves outfitting vehicles with special wireless devices that would receive an electric charge from a special equipment installed under the road.
“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,” Highways England Chief Highways Engineer Mike Wilson said in a statement.
These trials will be conducted over an 18-month period; if successful, they could progress to on-road trials. The adoption of DWPT technology is just one of the UK’s plans to reach its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 80% before the year 2050.
With the environmentally-minded Generation Y predicted to account for a stunning 75% of all vehicle purchases by 2025, technology like this might finally be able to help electric cars finally take off in popularity. As a result, humans would be able to rely much less on fossil fuels, turning to renewable energy sources like solar and wind power to fuel their vehicles — not to mention the time savings of charging a vehicle while driving.