If your main qualm with buying an electric car is keeping the battery topped up – and not, like the rest of us, the often exorbitant price tag – the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has come up with a nifty little solution: a road that charges your car as you drive over it.
It sounds like something out of a sci-fi film, but after a successful test run, a 60-metre strip of road at the Dubai Silicon Oasis will have the capacity to wirelessly charge both electric buses and cars whether they’re in motion or stationary.
Thanks to clever Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR) technology, energy can be transferred from a power-charging grid embedded beneath the road surface, without having an impact on other cars or pedestrians.
Imagine that. You never have to divert to a charging station (or refuel at a petrol garage) ever again. The ‘check engine’ light will become a relic of the past, like dial-up internet and manual toothbrushes. Just get in the car, start your engine, and off you go. It’s revolutionary. And better yet, the power is on a par with remote charging stations.
“The RTA has tested an electric vehicle and a bus on this path, and results proved a highly efficient wireless charging system comparable with the cable charging,” Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, told Gulf News. “Moreover, the electromagnetic level on board was within the accepted global range.”
This is not the only sustainable transport project the RTA is working on. The Authority recently trialled the first electric taxi powered by hydrogen fuel cells as part of the Dubai Taxi fleet.
Half of Dubai’s taxis are on track to be hybrid vehicles by 2021, while 90 per cent of Dubai’s limos will be environmentally-friendly (hybrid-electric) by 2026.