KAIST Launches First Road-Charged OLEV Electric Buses in South Korea
Several years ago the Korean Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST) unveiled their On Line Electric Vehicle (OLEV) charging system, which promised to charge cars and even city buses wirelessly through induction systems contained within roads. After tests on campus vehicles and at amusement parts, the first OLEV buses just hit inner city streets in Daejoen, South Korea.
The technology is similar to that of charging mats for cell phones, in that it also relies on electromagnetic conduction. In the case of the OLEVs, cables buried in the roads create giant magnetic fields that, as devices placed on the underside of the buses convert to electricity. The technology tackles a number of issues that can make electrical cars unattractive – as long as the buses are following the underground cable, there is little to worry about in terms of range anxiety, nor is there a need to sit idle at charging stations.
At the moment they are only testing two Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) along 24 km (round trip) of city route with plan to add another 10 vehicles by 2015. There were safety concerns but the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) – the university behind the study – assures the public that the electromagnetic field is weak enough to be deemed safe for pedestrians and it will only be turned on when it senses the OLEVs. To further reassure the public they stated they are compliant with all the safety acts.
Via Popular Science
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