The notion of highways that can charge electric vehicles isn't a new one — but it's an idea still facing considerable hurdles before it can become a reality on any large scale. The technology is nevertheless moving in that direction, and it's getting a boost from a new trial set to begin in the U.K.
As announced Tuesday by Highways England, a limited trial will begin later this year on an off-road course designed to simulate real highway conditions. It is expected to run 18 months, after which actual road tests can begin. That follows a feasibility study completed earlier this year, which looked into the viability of what's known as dynamic wireless power transfer technologies.
Unfortunately, any further details are a bit light for the time being, as the procurement process is still ongoing. Highways England is only saying that the tests will involve cars equipped with wireless charging technology, and charging equipment that will be installed underneath the roadways. Qualcomm is one company that has been working on such a system, while institution like Stanford University and the Korean Advanced Institute of Technology have also been busy developing the technology.
As you might expect, the U.K. isn't only looking at roads that charge EVs. In the announcement, Highways England also notes that it plans to eventually have plug-in charging points installed every 20 miles throughout the country's motorway network.