South Korea has just switched on the first commercial road in the world where OELVs (Online Electric Vehicles) can be constantly recharged while driving.
Electric cables fitted under the pavement are used to generate electromagnetic fields which are picked up by a coil inside the vehicle and converted into electricity. The technology allows electric vehicles (EV) to break through the range barrier, which has hampered EV adoption so far.
Other cities such as Torino, Italy, Utrecht, NL, or Milton-Keynes, UK are experimenting with similar induction recharging technology concentrated at bus stops. Recently, ABB demonstrated its alternative Flash Charging Electrical Bus that plugs in automatically at each stop and can get sufficiently recharged in just 15 seconds to hop to the next stop.
These technologies appear all very costly at this point in time, but the race is on to scale them up and, doing so, drive costs down to a level where the emerging winner(s) can start competing effectively with fuel-based transport.
As I observe the increasing pace of innovation and size of investment in EV, I wonder: is it a bubble or the tipping point?
Please share your views.
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Yann Cramer is an innovation learner, practitioner, sharer, teacher. He’s lived in France, Belgium and the UK, he’s travelled six continents to create development opportunities with customers or suppliers, and run workshops on R&D and Marketing. He writes on www.innovToday.com and on twitter @innovToday.