According to Volvo, the future of transportation isn't dependent on improving electric vehicle battery technology, but rather electrifying the roads we're already driving on. The Swedish-based automaker has developed a method of road-to-vehicle electric power that propels larger vehicles, like semis and buses, through power lines built into the road. According to Volvo, the power lines would run the entire distance of the road, transmitting a current to vehicles that have a "current collector" that remains in contact with the power lines while driving.
"With this method, electric vehicles could be continuously supplied with power without carrying large batteries," explains Volvo's expert on electric vehicles Mats Alaküla. "The power line will be built in sections and one section is only live as the truck passes."
The power lines present some safety concerns and would require a vehicle to be traveling at least 37 miles per hour in order to take advantage of the electricity.
"A lot of years remain before this is on our roads," says Alaküla. "But, if we are to succeed in creating sustainable transport systems, we must invest significantly in research now."
While many questions still need to be answered, such as how the road would perform in extreme weather conditions, it's interesting to see a fresh take on electric mobility.