September 11, 2015 at 10:09 AM
You have probably heard about it, but electric cars may one day charge wirelessly.
Let’s dig into the technology and the future of electric cars.
If you’re interested in electric cars you may have heard about it, otherwise you probably haven’t spotted it. Goodyear, the tyre manufacturer and the government are making plans for the future of electric cars.
Getting electricity through the tyres
Goodyear has made a major breakthrough in terms of tyre technology with its concept tyre the BH03, fitted with thermo-piezoelectric materials that convert heat into energy to charge an electric car without a charging station.
Here are the features of a tyre:
- Ultra-black design
- Thermo-piezoelectric material
- Triple tube technology (this technology adapts the pressure to the driving style)
In detail, the Ultra-black design has been imagined in order to attract as much sunlight as possible and generate heat which will, in the end, produce additional energy to power the car.
The thermo-piezoelectric material is made of crystalline and ceramic structures which produce electricity when exposed to mechanical force. However, this technology is associated with a heat conversion device which is the result of the Ultra-black design of the tyre.
The triple tube technology is one of those “smart-technologies” that people enjoy talking about so much, in essence the tyre is fitted with an internal pump that moves air between the three air chambers.
This smart tyre technology adapts itself to road conditions and three modes such as the Eco/Safety, Sport and Wet Traction. The Eco/Safety offers maximum inflation in all the three tubes to reduce rolling resistance. The Sport mode reduces inflation in the inboard shoulder tube, this mode increases the manoeuvrability of the car, while the Wet Traction position maximises the inflation in the centre tube to avoid aquaplaning. Even though there are no immediate release plans it is a major breakthrough.
The video below will help you understand the potential of this technology:
On the other side the government is planning to develop Wireless road charging capabilities.
Drive and charge your car
Last month the Transport Minister Andrew Jones revealed the UK government’s plans to trial a new type of road that wirelessly charges hybrid and electric cars that drive on it. The supercharged highways will juice up hybrid and electric cars that would normally need to stop.
The test should see its results published in the next few years. If this technology is successful it will come at a cost, but it will have a strong influence. A stretch of 1km (0.62 miles) of DWPT could cost between £350,000 and £425,000. A number of charging solutions will be evaluated during the tests such as pressure chargers or wireless power transfer.
In addition, Highways England have also said that it will invest further in rechargeable transport by inserting charging ports over the motorway networks.