Electrified roads for the cars of the future?

Two Japanese researchers, Masahiro Hanazawa at Toyota’s central R&D Labs in Nagakute, Japan, and Takashi Ohira at Toyohashi University of Technology, argue that this technology would allow electric cars to give up their batteries, which not only hinder vehicles by increasing the amount of energy required to move, but also force it to stand still while recharging.

“Our approach exploits a pair of tyres, which are always touching a road surface,” Hanazawa says.

In order to test how much energy is lost when electricity travels through the tyres’ rubber, the two scientists have created a lab experiment, placing metal plates on the floor and inside a tyre.

“Less than 20 per cent of the transmitted power is dissipated in the circuit,” Ohira said.

Ohira explained that with enough energy, the system could power a typical classic car and his team is in the process of developing the first small-scale prototype to prove its efficiency.