An Israeli startup is testing an electric road that would charge cars while they drive.
Oren Ezer, the entrepreneur who started ElectRoad, told Haaretz that it's actually relatively simple to make a "smart road."
Copper chains are inserted into grooves in the asphalt, then connected to a power converter on the side of the road that links to the city's electric grid. Then, electric cars have small contact points fitted underneath — powering them or charging their batteries as they drive.
The company hopes the technology will lower the cost of fuelling public transportation fleets while helping the environment.
Watch how ElectRoad works:
Ezer explained to Inhabitat how the new roads paired with electric vehicles would be cheaper than traditional diesel-fuelled buses:
“The electricity will come from renewable energy transferred to the road. This is a really sustainable solution. A battery for an electric bus can cost $300,000 and weigh 5 tons. If you remove the battery then the bus is much lighter and requires less energy. This technology is cost saving. If you compare it to diesel buses, it’s half the price. If you just start with public transportation it will save money and then you can open it up to taxis and trams. Payback is very fast.”
The company won first prize in early December at a clean energy startup competition. The prize will see the team headed to San Francisco's Cleantech forum this year.
In May, the startup announced it would partner with the city of Tel Aviv to test the technology and find out how it can hold up to the stresses of traffic and weather, according to Jewish Business News. In 2017, ElectRoad will test its tech on a public electric bus that will operate on a set route.