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Japanese group transmits electricity through 4-inch concrete block, could power cars on roads

The decision to invest in an electric vehicle would be much easier to justify if the car in question offered unlimited range. That appears to be the concept behind a Toyohashi University research group's wireless power prototype, which can successfully transmit electricity through a 10 centimeter-thick concrete block. During a demonstration in Yokohama, Japan, the team sent between 50 and 60 watts of power through a pair of concrete blocks to two tires, which then juiced up a light bulb (you can see the rig just above). The project is called EVER (Electric Vehicle on Electrified Roadway), and could someday be used to keep cars moving along a highway without any need to pull over for a recharge, thanks to a constant stream of electricity coming from below the road. There are some serious obstacles to overcome before EVER can get some wheels turning -- namely, a need to pump nearly 100 times the current maximum load through concrete that's twice as thick as what they've managed today, not to mention improving undisclosed efficiency levels -- but the group reportedly said that it's up to the task, making us fairly optimistic that such a solution could one day get us from A to B without petrol. Until then, you'll probably want to plan out a pit stop or two before you leave the garage.