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Does the Solution to the Range Problem Come from Nikola Tesla Himself?

I saw this on another forum:

...upgrading electric transmission system to follow roadways, hybrid cars use it via induction...current electric transmission system wasteful, needs upgrade anyway.

Wireless power by induction was the lifelong dream of Nikola Tesla himself. This seems the ideal solution to the range issue.

No more gas stations. Just one power line beside or better yet beneath the center of each lane. Such a line could both power and steer the car.

Of course, this would be a huge project, with enormous headwinds from vested interests -- it would be the devolution of the oil industry. But it is so simple and elegant, and the economics so compelling, that not to do it would be immoral.

Yes, but induction charging is typically very inefficient compared to a direct connection. Until that changes, you will waste much of the energy charging that way and negate many of the energy efficiencies of using an EV in the first place.

Yes, you have the inverse-square law working against you. But an embedded power line would be only inches from the Tesla's low-slung battery, so within that range it might be effective.

Hey, I'm sure Mr. Musk and colleagues brainstormed this long ago. They didn't call it Tesla for nothing!

I've also read about some innovations in induction charging that are supposed to dramatically improve efficiency by using precisely tuned "antennas". We'll have to see how that shakes out. Who knows what the future will bring. I never really thought we'd be driving such cool electric cars either...

yes, you can improve by resonant coupling, but still well below direct connected wires.
I see the problem in the infrastructure cost - do you want to dig up all the streets in the US? That would cost more then the national debt.
More practical would be on major highways lets say every 20 miles a 2 mile charging lane where you could suck up 50 miles of charge... or something like it.

@ Kleist

"More practical would be on major highways lets say every 20 miles a 2 mile charging lane where you could suck up 50 miles of charge... or something like it."

Actually, that is a very good idea. Good thinking, Kleist.

The EV-1 used inductive charging with that paddle arrangement. As I recall their efficiency of transfer was that of a mettalic connection.

@Superliner

Yes, a paddle or brush.

@Kleist

Definitely no "digging up all the streets in the US". Remember, the problem is long distance, so we're talking just the Interstate highways. Anyway, I don't think digging up streets is necessary. First, we're talking about cutting a groove in the center of the lane and laying cable. It would be shallow, because the lines would be flush with the road surface. This would call for a machine that cuts and lays in one pass. Second, highways are resurfaced periodically anyway. So the cable laying could be done during resurfacing.

And yes, by all means, lay segmented lines at first, rather than a continuous line. But remember the added bonus a power line to steer the car, which would require a continuous line. Of course, if the economics of segmented work better, then by all means...

The point here is obviating the need of charging stations completely. To my mind that would be the coup de grâce to internal combustion powered vehicles.

Of course, all this is forward-looking. Call this stage in development Alan Shepard, and the build out of of 100 Supercharging stations as John Glenn, and recharging-in-motion as Neil Armstrong. In fact, it could coincide with the stages of Space-X!

@Superliner, induction can't reach direct contact efficiency, it's just plain impossible. It can get close enough that losses are insignificant if the coils are close enough (like in case of EV1 paddle). Distance is the key here. Get coils close enough and inductive charging becomes plausible.

Losses happen when coils are not aligned properly so I was thinking some system which car negotiates with the road telling it where it is with some sort of transponder and only the coil directly underneath the car is activated. Electronics and electricity is a lot faster than car, so it could be done.


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