Gallery: KAIST Hybrid Vehicles Run on Electric Roads


Hybrid-electric vehicles are expected to explode in popularity over the next decade thanks to their gasoline-saving abilities. But Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) thinks that battery-powered cars aren’t the answer to our energy crisis. Instead, KAIST has developed a new kind of electric vehicle that forgoes batteries entirely and instead relies on power from cables buried beneath the road.

The On Line Electric Vehicle (OLEV) project, unveiled last Thursday, consists of a set of electric buses that pass over power coil-containing tracks. Once the buses cross the tracks, they’re given a boost of electricity that allows them to keep moving without having to stop and recharge.

If the OLEV project catches on, it could revolutionize the electric vehicle industry. Battery-powered vehicles have to constantly stop for recharging–a problem that will ultimately require an infrastructure of electric charging stations. The vehicles also contain lithium, which will inevitably become more expensive as electric cars gain in popularity.

With OLEV, strain on the power grid is reduced and lithium is preserved. KAIST believes that if half of all automobiles in Korea are converted to the OLEV system, the country can cut crude oil imports by $3 billion each year. Now if only KAIST can do the same for countries like the U.S.!


Via Designboom


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  1. Mr. Yew August 22, 2010 at 9:32 am

    This technology is very impressive. I wonder whether it could be implemented economically in a New Development Area, whereby the cars used within this area can enjoy the recharging facility.

    Let me introduce myself. I’m developing an area of approx. 2500 acres in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia in a Hi-Tech Park. Please refer to my website: for further details of my development.

    This is green technology, whereby our country is giving a lot incentives for us to implement it. May have some further thoughts from your expert’s opinion as to how I could implement this during the infrastructure stage of the road construction over the 2500 acres and having a lucrative business in the continual manufacturing of cars in our South East Asia Region.

  2. Seriously August 19, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    This…is a horrible idea. Even if there’s not a full charge being radiated into the strip at all times, even in a trickle mode huge amounts of energy will be lost over time. This is not the future of the electric car business, this is failure

  3. Brian Lang August 19, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Will it work in areas where it snows in winter?

  4. russ August 19, 2009 at 12:12 am

    They invented a cross between an electric tram and a golf cart! Wow!

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