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Korea tests electric road and buses

August 9, 2013

Korea tests electric road and buses

South Korean researchers have switched on a new bus route that charges itself. Thought to be the first of its kind, the Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) buses get their charge from buried points in the road, charging while stationary or in motion. The 12km (7.5 miles) route was developed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and will initially run two buses from the train station in the town of Gumi, in the south of the country, to the In-dong district.

The OLEV receives power wirelessly through the application of Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR) technology developed by KAIST to transfer electricity wirelessly from the road surface to electric vehicles while moving. Power comes from the electrical cables buried under the surface of the road that create magnetic fields while a receiving device is installed on the underbelly of the OLEV that converts the fields into electricity. Power strips need to be embedded in 5-to-15 percent of the road length, so only a few sections of the road would have to be rebuilt to enable the use of OLEV.

According to Dong-Ho Cho, a professor of the electrical engineering and the director of the Center for Wireless Power Transfer Technology Business Development at KAIST, “It’s quite remarkable that we succeeded with the OLEV project so that buses are offering public transportation services to passengers. This is certainly a turning point for OLEV to become more commercialized and widely accepted for mass transportation in our daily living.”

Read more at CleanBiz Asia.

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