Toyohashi University of Technology and Taisei Corp. unveiled Friday what they say is the world’s first electric vehicle that runs without a battery, using special tires that draw power from an electrified road surface.
In a driving test at the school in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, a small electric vehicle moved quietly on a test course under which two electrified steel paths were laid parallel at the width of the vehicle. Steel wires were embedded into the tires to provide a conduit for the energy to power the vehicle.
After driving the vehicle on the 30-meter-long course at about 10 kph, professor Takashi Ohira, who is involved in the vehicle’s development, said, “Acceleration was smooth, and the ride was comfortable.”
Regular electric vehicles are not suitable for long-distance driving due to the relatively small capacity of the batteries they carry.
The newly developed EV can only run on electrified roads.
Ohira said that if expressways were fitted with the technology, EVs could operate over longer distances. “We can then reduce the size of batteries for nonexpressway driving,” he said.