Recharge an Electric Car by Driving on the Highway?

My brother told me about this yesterday and I had to find out more.  A Stanford team has found a way to transfer energy efficiently from source coils in the roadbed to a receiving coil in the car.  The induced current in the receiving coil would recharge the electric car’s battery as the car is driven along the road.  The efficiency of the power transfer is boosted by something called magnetic resonance coupling.

The press release has a more in-depth description (and a YouTube video explanation):
Wireless power could revolutionize highway transportation, Stanford researchers say

A few years ago, MIT used the same idea of magnetic resonance coupling to demonstrate the possibility of charging devices wirelessly over a distance as great as two meters.  You can read about it here: Goodbye wires!

Students, what do you think about wireless power transfer for electric cars? My brother contends that battery-switching stations are a much more practical alternative.  He may have a point, but getting onto the highway to charge your car’s battery has an appealing simplicity.


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