One of the major contentions of building an electric vehicle (EV) is how to reduce the weight of the batteries that take the power the EV.

Too many batteries will allow it to store more energy but the weight it loads on the EV offsets any gains in power and too little won’t get the EV much in terms of mileage.

The trick has been to find the right electric power-to-battery weight ratio and while the right solution has yet to be found, a group of researchers from Japan are working on a new way around the problem.

Teams from the Toyohashi University of Technology and Taisei Corporation are testing the world’s first EV that runs without an onboard battery, relying on power it gets from an electrified road surface.

In a driving test conducted in Toyohashi in the Aichi Prefecture, the EV moved along a special road with two embedded steel paths that carried enough current to power the vehicle. The EV drew the electricity to power the motors through its tires with embedded steel wires.

The EV traversed the 30-meter course at 10kph.

“Acceleration was smooth, and the ride was comfortable,” said Professor Takashi Ohira.

The challenge for the team is to seek cost-effective ways to embed highways with steel wires in order to make this technology possible.

Source: Japan Times