One of the biggest issues preventing the electric car from taking over the roads is their incredibly limited battery life. But researchers at the Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan have demonstrated a new system that could let electric cars constantly recharge while they're being driven.
Their research has resulted in a system that's able to transfer somewhere in the neighbourhood of 50-60W of electricity through almost 10cm of concrete, allowing the power source to be safely buried beneath a roadway. And specially adapted tires which are wired into a vehicle's power system could then harness that electricity and use it to top off the battery.
At the moment the system exists as a low-power proof-of-concept of the technology, and would require about 100 times more power to actually charge an electric car's battery while it was running. But they claim the components needed to ramp it up are cheaply available, and the system could even work with concrete layers almost eight inches thick if needed. [Tech-On!]