- Published on Monday, 28 July 2014 11:00
If you know anything about electric vehicles, you know that storing electrical energy (batteries) has been the Achilles heel of the electric car dream for decades. Could solar roads be the solution? But maybe the problem has a solution that also solves other long-term environmental negatives associated with asphalt infrastructure.
If you examine some of the R&D and innovation going on in the auto industry, you will see a convergence of thought on this topic. For example, so called "wireless charging" is coming on strong. It's a way of recharging electric vehicles, and may expand to charging vehicles intermittently as they travel down the road, allowing them to carry much less battery weight.
A natural progression from wireless charging is to put the actual energy source closer to the chargers--and photovoltaic technology could be a great way to do this. If PV panels can be built to be durable, replaceable and affordable, they could actually "become" the road.
That's exactly what a company called Solar Roadways is working on. Now into their second prototype, they're creating a mom and pop version of solar roadways that is clever and cool.
One of the best things about solar road technology is that it could be built with modular components, with power lines and communications cables underneath or next to it. Consider the advantages.