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The Government is about to start testing 'electric motorways' that could charge your electric car as you drive

The trials are beginning after the completion of a successful 2-year investigation into the technology

Doug Bolton
Tuesday 18 August 2015 11:18 BST
The motorway of the future? Technology embedded in the roads could charge your car as you drive
The motorway of the future? Technology embedded in the roads could charge your car as you drive (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Trials of "electric motorways" that can charge your electric car as you drive on them are beginning in the UK.

Electric cars are becoming more popular, and charging points are becoming less and less of a rarity - however, the limited range of a single battery charge available with current technology means that longer journeys often involve stopping for a lengthy recharge.

This problem may one day be a thing of the past, if the trials of electric motorways are a success.

They could work in a similar way to wireless mobile phone chargers - it's possible that an electromagnetic transmitter embedded in the road would induce voltage in a receiver integrated in the bottom of the car. This voltage could then be used to charge the battery, potentially dramatically extending the car's range.

Highways England has already spent £200,000 investigating how practical the the installation of a "dynamic charging system under the surface of the road" would be.

It's not such a far-fetched idea - there's already a 7-mile stretch of this road in South Korea, that charges electric buses as they pass over it.

That investigation began in September 2013, and will end at the end of September this year.

Electric cars like the Tesla Model S are capable of travelling over 250 miles on a single charge, but recharging can take a long time (AFP/Getty) (ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

It seems like it has been a success, as the government has announced that off road trials for these electric motorways will begin later this year.

Once the real trials begin, vehicles will be fitted with wireless charging technology, and will be tested on electric roads to replicate motorway conditions.

Unfortunately, the project is shrouded in mystery at the moment - full details of the trial will only be publicised once a successful contractor for the project has been appointed.

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