The Triumph of Nikola Tesla

It seems as though everywhere you turn these days you hear more about battery-powered electrical vehicles. However, when I read articles likes this:

Stanford University researchers believe they’ve found a better way to build a long-range electric car. Amazingly, their solution has nothing to do with batteries.

By using resonating metal coils to wirelessly transmit large amounts of current between roadways and vehicles, the researchers say it’s now possible for an electric car to have virtually limitless range.

“The idea is that the energy transfer would take care of the base load that you would need to propel the car,” Sven Beiker, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS), told us. “If you do the math, you see that it would provide enough energy for the car to cruise down the road at about 65mph.”

I wonder if in 30 or 40 years today’s infatuation with battery-powered EVs will appear quaint.

There is as yet no Moore’s Law when it comes to batteries and producing safer, longer-lived batteries with greater capacity that are quicker and easier to charge and can be produced in quantity is proving quite the challenge. As the article cited above suggests batteries are not the only prospective solution for powering EVs and it’s far from certain which technology, if any, will ultimately prevail.

Quite a few governments and very powerful companies have put their eggs into the battery basket and that alone might be enough for batteries to prevail. It would be nice to think that the superior technology always triumphs but isn’t necessarily the case.

5 comments… add one
  • Icepick Link

    New tech for an old idea.

  • Icepick Link

    I’ll point out that superconductors would make this idea extremely practical, assuming one could overcome the health fears of the public. People keep getting upset by cell phone radiation (though they keep using them) and high tension lines for electrical power transmission, imagine how they would react to this!

    Also, if such a project proved feasible (with or without SCs), imagine the size of the government spending projects! It’d dwarf anything they’re ever done. It might dwarf EVERYTHING they’ve ever done. Unfortunately, it will take a rather skilled workforce to build such road ways….

  • PD Shaw Link

    I too would have to wonder about the Electromagnatic Field health issues. I once interviewed for a job at a power company in which EMF was likely to be a major aspect, but I didn’t get the job. Can’t tell from things that I’ve seen what the state of the science is.

  • Brett Link

    I expect the battery cars would hang on for a while, if only because it would take time to set up wireless electricity to parallel all the major roads in the US. Nonetheless, it’s still a brilliant idea if it’s efficient enough. You’d never need to worry about running out of gas in a city area ever again.

  • The gouge is that there was a fair amount of this tech hidden away. From Tesla. Now is the time when we need it. . .

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