Researchers from the University of Utah are currently working on technology that stands to revolutionize the future of the electric car; the promise of roads that recharge the car that uses it.


The technology, called electrified roads, would charge the electric vehicle as it passes over small electrified pads embedded within the surface, sending small amounts of energy into the car’s battery. Scientists at the Energy Dynamics Laboratory (EDL) say that such a technology would significantly reduce the size requirements of the battery and, thusly, the cost of the vehicle itself.


“Basically you get power directly from the grid to the motors as the car moves,” said Hunter Wu, a Utah State researcher who was recruited from The University of Auckland in New Zealand, where the technology was pioneered, to further develop the concept.


“At 75 mph, you’re only going to stay on a pad for about 30 milliseconds,” he said. “We need to turn the pad embedded in the road on and off really quickly.”


There is also a trial application of electric roads – albeit at slow speeds and using very long charging pads – for buses at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, south of Seoul.


The technology proposed by the team at EDL is well over a century old, with famed scientist Nicola Tesla experimenting with energy transfer in the late 19th century.