It's interesting to see the claim that the high looking cost of "US$9.5 billion...would be recouped within three years". Whether or not that is true it's rare to find these cost vs amortisation figures stated. I applaud it because any big figure looks scary unless you know its proportion. I'm also referring to Paul Hawken's project which looks for climate solutions, ranks them, and provides a cost vs. savings analysis.
That's a lot of power to put where (if some system fails) someone stepping on it could be electrocuted. Seems overly complex to me from an infrastructure standpoint, considering the any-day-now advances in doubling battery energy density and quick charging.
Looks like a major step backward in technology to the days of streetcars with overhead lines. Let's look forward...
It will never work unless the system is wireless charging. Slots are good for slot cars nothing more.
The more I think about this, the more advantages it has over charging stations.
This would provide a source of revenue for the highway system much like the gas tax does for ICE cars.
It would provide unlimited range for electric cars on our interstate system and main arterials where most of the long-distance travel is done.
Electric cars wouldn't need huge batteries for extended range so they'd be cheaper.
Only the main arterials would need a rail. On a two, three, or four lane highway, only one lane would need to be electrified.
Rush hour traffic would not increase the load on the electrical system. Most of those vehicles would not use the rail since they would be short distance commuters running on batteries.
Long distance travelers would take a continuous charge, instead of short bursts of charge at charging stations - creating a load leveling effect on electric infrastructure.
This could be utilized on long highway inclines to transfer energy from vehicles going down the hill to vehicles going up the hill.
Richard Treadgold
I like the idea for its simplicity, although as VincentWolf remarks, wireless charging would be best. However, too many things could damage the rails, including the ingress of foreign bodies, especially of a shape that could jam in the groove, block the channel and wreck the car's contact arm, or damaging fluids. At motorway speeds the velocities and inertial forces on the components would be enormous. Thorough testing should identify these problems. But there's a more significant problem.
Clearly the only body capable of approving and paying for this technology to become widespread is some regional or national government, yet in the history of industrial development, the only initiatives to succeed were private ones, driven by entrepreneurs finely attuned to the needs of their putative clients. Government-driven development always fails to meet market needs. This poses a significant hurdle to uptake of this technology unless the investors produce truly astounding test segments of road, prove it all works and, above all, make it affordable.
In the meantime, the climate is cooling and nobody can prove that our emissions cause significant warming. I note that the Royal Society of New Zealand has as good as admitted it cannot find evidence.
'' The gap between the rails is also too small to cause a problem for motorbike and bicycle wheels.'' NOT TRUE! In France many of the older concrete autoroutes, had 'rainage' grooves cut into the surface. These grooves were approx 6mm/1/4inch wide, but they caused motorcycles significant problems, as the rounded profile of tires reacted strongly to the grooves, causing the machine to yaw wildly. Old railway tracks were also a problem, especially if wet, as again the rounded tire profile tended to lock into them, unless they were approaches at close to 90 degrees. As for carbon emissions, here are some simple scientific facts; FACT: Life on Earth is carbon based, FACT: The primary source of that carbon is Atmospheric CO2. (ACO2) FACT: The primary Source for that ACO2, are the oceans. FACT: The primary source of that CO2 is from undersea volcanoes. FACT: When the oceans cool, they release less CO2. FACT: The present average global temperature is the lowest it has been since the Permian extinction 270 million years ago. FACT:The present level of atmospheric CO2 and throughout this inter ice age at around 400 ppm, is the lowest it has been since the Permian Extinction 270 Million years ago. FACT: The world would benefit greatly from an increase in ACO2, to 1000 ppm. FACT: If ACO2 falls below 150 ppm, all major land surface plant life will start to die, from ACO2 starvation, except, grasses, and similar. FACT: That death will be closely followed by all land surface animal life dependent upon it. FACT: Humans will probably be one of the first to start to die. FACT: Reducing ACO2 from its present impoverished level, will endanger the whole of land animal life on Earth. FACT: From the above, it can be seen that the Anthropogenic Global Warming claims are a total and dangerous scam, promoted purely for the benefit of $$trillions of carbon tax!
Jim B
Or just produce ammonia cheaply using high temperature 4th gen nuclear (molten salt reactors) and burn that in ICEs producing only Nitrogen and Water. No need to expensively update most of the road network.
Ammonia is also a solution for planes and ships.
Fairly Reasoner
OK. Now come up with something that'll work.
Craig Jennings
I suggested something similar when we had a stretch of rail electrified in my city. Trains use tracks. So use an electrified track 3rd rail that only became active when the train was on it using something that trains are..... HEAVY. So of course now we have ugly overhead power which is damaged on the regular and a pain in the behind. :D