Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
pow

Battery-less electric car

8 posts in this topic

Essentially... instead of carrying huge batteries on-board, cars will be directly powered by the grid. An electric vehicle would pick up power from underground power lines through the non-contact magnetic charging. Pretty cool idea, IMO.

New drive for creative thinking

By Christian Oliver

Financial Times

Published: August 13 2009 03:00 | Last updated: August 13 2009 03:00

Five weeks before a February visit from Lee Myung-bak, South Korea's president, the head of the country's leading scientific university set his engineers a race against the clock.

Suh Nam-pyo, president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist), had long been toying with the idea of a revolutionary electric vehicle that would take its power from cables beneath the road rather than relying on batteries. "Could you possibly build one?" he asked the boffins.

Somewhat timidly, they said they would look into it. Then, with the type of Korean tenacity that helped turn a country devastated by war into an Asian tiger, they worked day and night to ensure Mr Lee could be driven round the Kaist campus in a vehicle the world had never seen.

No one who knows Korea could be surprised that the engineers achieved their production target. It is the step towards "blue sky" inventions that is the more eye-opening, in a country that has long suffered a dismal reputation for ripping off ideas from others.

Throughout its industrial boom, many Japanese engineers cleared their debts by selling trade secrets on weekend visits to Seoul. Those days are over but Korea has still found innovative "killer products" elusive.

"Korea can make the transition, going from improving and changing what other people designed to creating things nobody ever dreamed of before," says Mr Suh, a 73-year-old graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr Suh identified Mr Lee as an important ally in his battle to revolutionise Korea's economic model as soon as the president stepped out of the passenger seat of Olev (the online electric vehicle). The university was also keen to promote another project: mobile harbours, an idea that the scientists believe has the potential to transform the world's transport networks.

The timing of the two men's meeting could not have been better. At the end of last year, Korea's government found itself in a period of soul-searching over whether the old economic model of grimy heavy industry and unwieldy conglomerates was sustainable in its competition for business with booming China.

Mr Lee publicly stressed the need for "new green growth engines" but it was hard to see many of the schemes as anything more than rhetoric or political gambits. But Mr Suh's ideas - and his ability to get them built - have inspired the president to experiment with an intriguing model for nurturing innovation.

The government pumped Won50bn ($40m, €28m, £24m), a large sum for a university, directly into Kaist so it could develop more models both of the electric vehicles and mobile harbours. The Korean vehicles challenge the dominant presumption in the auto industry that electric cars should use batteries. The Kaist model argues that world supplies of lithium are too scarce for mass production of lithium-ion batteries and that the batteries themselves are too heavy for practical purposes.

Instead, the cars should suck up power from the road in a process similar to how an electric toothbrush charges in its holder. Kaist's research suggests that two nuclear power stations could provide enough energy to run 6m cars, cutting the need for 35m barrels of annual crude oil imports.

More: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e0c392c6-879f-11...?nclick_check=1

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An electric car that didn't have to carry batteries would either be uber efficient, or very efficient while being uber fast. Execution is the difference between this being terrible or terrific.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An electric car that didn't have to carry batteries would either be uber efficient, or very efficient while being uber fast. Execution is the difference between this being terrible or terrific.

Exactly. Nobody wants to be electrocuted. I've always wondered what effect EMFs have on people... apparently, if you put a florescent tube close enough to some of the power lines around here, you'll get a few flickers.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Similar though without the brushes.

If you get a soldering gun close to a florescent tube it will glow also

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These grid-powered cars sound like they would have even more infrastructure problems than hydrogen FCV's, and you'd be very limited in where you could go.

A hydrogen tank and fuel cell stack together weigh FAR less than current batteries for the same distance and performance. Hydrogen FCV's can be recharged at home with a solar or natural gas powered hydrogen generator. Sounds like the most efficient way to go.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We already have this in some cities... they are called subways.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0