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Power Up Our Roads

Are you a budding scientist? If so, perhaps you can help with this invention.

We already have electric cars, so why not expand that idea to create electric roads?

Plugging an electric car into a charging station could become old news as scientists are developing electric roads that can charge your car while waiting at a traffic light or even on the move. The UK government is installing these devices under test roads and in vehicles, to determine if the charging could work on Britain’s busiest roadways. Mobile charging would solve the problem of staying charged up on longer journeys.

If the roads were powered, electric and hybrid cars could avoid stopping to recharge their vehicles. At present, most electric cars get charged via plug-in chargers at home or while parked on the streets.

The new charging roads proposed by the U.K. government will work like wireless phone chargers, using magnetic induction technology.

Cables buried underneath the motorways could generate electromagnetic fields that are picked up by a receiver in the car and transformed into electric power. The system includes a communication system, so that the roads can detect that a car is coming and start the process.

The UK government is committing £500 million ($779 million) to the project over the next five years. "Vehicle technologies are advancing at an ever increasing pace and we're committed to supporting the growth of ultra-low emissions vehicles on England's motorways," said the government's chief highways engineer.

In the city of Gumi, South Korea, a seven-and-a-half-mile stretch of asphalt roadway has already been constructed with power sources periodically embedded in the road. As a bus approaches and leaves, these power sources connect to the grid and are turned on and off selectively.

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