South Korean scientists are working on road technology that allows electric vehicles to continually recharge while driving, Reuters reports. Inductive charging, used with watertight electric toothbrushes, requires no contact between power source and appliance. For vehicles, electric strips would be embedded in the road at intervals, and a magnetic field would pull power into the car’s battery. The strips are safe to the touch.
The roadway, which would be concentrated where cars come to a stop, could shrink the size of batteries in vehicles or increase their range. “If we place these strips on about 10% of roadways in a city, we could power electric vehicles,” the lead developer said. It is not, however, a cheap alternative. Installing the system will cost about $500,000 per mile—before the cost of electricity.