Thursday, March 11, 2010

World's First Commercial Wireless Electric Vehicle

SEOUL, South Korea, March 11 UPI reported today that South Korea has unveiled what is considered the world's first commercial wireless electric vehicle.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has introduced an online electric vehicle, which can run up to 24.8 miles per hour. Power strips are buried one foot under the surface and connected to the national grid provide electromagnetic power to the OLEV wirelessly, charging an on-board battery and powering the bus's electric motor. The vehicle was introduced Tuesday at the Seoul Grand Park as one of the theme park's seven shuttles operating on a 1.37-mile beltway.

The Seoul government said it hopes to apply the technology to city buses as early as next year after trial operations. Buses account for about 30 percent of Seoul's traffic, with some 56 miles of bus lanes operating throughout the city.

The institute says the technology, in addition to reducing pollution, reduces problems often associated with hybrid vehicles such as weighty batteries, lengthy charging times and limited range of power. Whether running or stopped, the OLEV constantly receives electric power through the underground cables.

There is no similar project under way in the US at this time.

Richard Wottrich

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