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

Zach Honig
07.07.12
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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.

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