LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – Imagine charging your car while you drive. That may soon be a reality in the United States and the effort is being spearheaded here in Utah.
Dr. Regan Zane posed a question: “Could we actually get to a position where you no longer think about how, where, and when you charge your vehicle?” Your vehicle is just always ready to go?”
Dr. Zane is the director of ASPIRE Engineering Research Center at Utah State University. He told ABC4 that the answer to the question he posed may be answered sooner than one may think.
“There are vehicles that you can buy from automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) coming in the next two to three years that will already have the option for your vehicle to charge wirelessly in your garage or a parking garage,” explained Dr. Zane. However, wireless charging technology will soon be even more advanced than that. Thanks, in part, to the collaboration between the work being done at USU in coordination with global partners.
What will that technology look like? Well, on the surface it will just look like pavement. However, that pavement will be stretches of highway across the country that may wirelessly charge electric vehicles as they travel.
While that technology is still being tested, Dr. Zane told ABC4 that for those who have considered getting an electric vehicle, the time is now. He added: “The writing is on the wall. The world is shifting to electricity. Charging systems and infrastructure is a primary focus here at the ASPIRE Center. It’s a focus both at the U.S. government as well as governments around the world.”
Some people may be considering getting an electric vehicle while gas prices are soaring to record highs. Dr. Zane said that will save you money at the pump right now but explained that as the grid is upgraded to allow for electric vehicles to be more accessible and easier to charge, it will save the general public money at home as well as reduce pollution that we don’t often associate with doing our day-to-day activities. “This will shift us towards a cleaner, greener grid. This would impact the emissions associated with running your lights at home, running your dishwasher, running your dryer.
As the automotive industry continues to move towards electric vehicles, Dr. Zane emphasized that doing so will not get off the fossil fuel industry but will allow those resources to be used in other ways without burning them. He added: “There are so many additional industries and markets, you know, plastics, etc. that could really boom and grow into further, more effective use of our fossil fuels.”