Not limited to electric cars and hybrids, green technology goes beyond reducing emissions and more into changing the way we drive.
Here are some not-so-far fetched ideas that could make their way into US showrooms within the next five years.
Wireless charging electric cars and kinetic roads
With electric cars, ¨range anxiety¨results when a driver sees his refueling station may not appear for several hundred miles. Now, Nissan has taken it a step further, researching magnetic induction (the same technology used by Sonicare) as a means to charge EV batteries wirelessly. Induction charging strips would be implemented into roads, garages, and ¨hotspot¨ parking spaces removing the need for refueling stations.
Second, kinetic roads are leading innovation in many industries, to use the power of cars to move everything from televisions to gyms. The downside of kinetic roads is that it must deplete a small sap of energy from a moving car, causing greater emissions. Although harvesting a small amount of energy from a car may not sound like much, harvesting energy from 100 passing cars in one area is.
Battery technology is still young, with the cheaper electric vehicles pulling no more than 100 miles on a single recharge on a 5 to 10 hour charge. One idea are drive thru battery stations that replace your drained battery with a new one in as little as 60 seconds. One company, AllCell Technologies, debuted a solar energy storage system at the Paris Motor Show that allows battery snaps on the road or power plug charging. Let´s see if the industry can concentrate on battery replacement rather than battery charge while average charging times continue to hit several hours.
Quicker charging stations
Electric companies are set to make a killing with electric vehicle chargers that can replace your home´s outlet. One, the WattStation by General Electric, brings down a 12 hour charge time to about half on a 24kWh battery. This technology, as well as others, are set to debut starting in 2011.
With more and more research dollars being pumped into green technology, 2011 and 2012 look like sure bets to reduce emissions and meet the new mileage rules (35.5 miles per gallon average) by the federal government by 2016.