On a street near the center of Lund, Sweden, the city will soon start installing the first real-life demonstration of a new type of electric road. Running down a kilometer-long stretch of a bus lane, an electric rail will connect with an attachment that can be built into any electric vehicle, making it possible to charge the battery while driving. “This started eight years ago when I wanted to buy an electric car, and I thought the range was too short,” says Dan Zethraeus, CEO and founder of Elonroad, the company that developed the technology. (The name, they say, has no relation to Elon Musk.) The range of electric cars keeps improving–many cars can now drive more than 200 miles before they need to plug in. Still, there are reasons why it still might make sense to avoid traditional chargers. One reason is the battery itself: If cars, trucks, and buses can power up as they drive, batteries can be smaller. That would mean mining less lithium and other materials in a process that can pollute the environment, as has happened in Tibetan villages in China where a river was poisoned by a nearby mine. “The less material we use… Read full this story
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