AutosGreat idea straight from Japan. They developed a unique solution for charging e-cars

Great idea straight from Japan. They developed a unique solution for charging e‑cars

Traffic lights
Traffic lights
Images source: © NurPhoto via Getty Images | NurPhoto

5:19 PM EDT, October 21, 2023, updated: 4:49 AM EDT, October 23, 2023

A team of Japanese scientists has developed an innovative solution aimed at improving driver experiences while waiting for light changes at intersections. Their idea involves using this time to charge batteries in electric cars.

To achieve this, Japanese scientists have decided to equip the roads surrounding intersections with traffic signals with coils. These are capable of charging the batteries installed in electric and hybrid cars. Their activation occurs upon detecting a slowly moving car. The key question that arises in the context of this project concerns the durability and efficiency of such a system.

You stand for a minute, you drive almost 4 miles longer

The assumptions are full of optimism. Scientists are convinced that the answer to this question is affirmative. They have calculated that a mere 10-second charge using coils embedded in the pavement can extend the range of the car by about 0.62 miles. Therefore, a minute-long stop at a red light provides an additional 3.73 miles of driving.

The experiment related to this project began in October 2023 and will last until March 2024. It is being carried out in Kashiwa-no-ha, known as the "smart city", located near the capital of Japan. Its implementation is the responsibility of scientists from universities in Tokyo and Chiba, as well as representatives of nine companies (including Bridgestone, NSK, and Denso).

A new approach to the old concept

Although the concept of installing charging systems directly into the road surface is not entirely new, it is nevertheless associated with many potential problems. That's why Japanese scientists have decided to approach the topic in a slightly different way, focusing on reducing the scale of the project, but at the same time optimizing the benefits.

The tests will show what potential lies in this solution. However, it's possible that if such a system was installed at all intersections with traffic lights, drivers who primarily travel around the city could indeed reap the benefits.

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