In an effort to cut oil dependency due to prices and environmental concerns, the race has begun to find an alternative vehicle that appeals to the masses. There have been contenders such as the hybrid and the electric vehicle (EV), but it seems there is still no clear cut winner over gas among consumers.
The Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) does address one of the largest concerns facing the electric vehicle (EV); which is that it is an “inconvenience” to plug them in to charge due to their limited range. (Michelsen) However, now that charging is no longer an issue, who would be interested in taking advantage of this technology? Is addressing this obstacle enough to sway opinions about the viability of the OLEV? This question will take some time, for sure; however there are signs that this technology could have some staying power.
Already in use are the application possibilities of using Online Electric Vehicles in mass transit systems, in the form of buses or trams. The main reason why this is a good fit for an OLEV is that cables must be laid, underneath the roadways) where the vehicle plans to travel, to constantly charge itself (Novel). Since most transit vehicles are set on specific routes where little variation is needed, it would be easier to set up infrastructure to accommodate OLEVs. In fact, leading the way is KAIST (The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) where they have implemented buses and trams on their campus in Daejeon, as well as for a tram in Seoul at an amusement park, where they were recently recognized as one of the 10 most promising technologies of 2013 by the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies (Novel).
A similar technology will be used in McAllen, TX later in 2013. OLEV Technologies (a Massachusetts based company) will be paid $2.1 Million to set up the McAllen bus system, that is mostly funded through a federal grant (Straight).
Below is an example of OLEV being used at a zoo in Korea (Please start watching at 19 seconds):
OLEV Use in CarsEdit
Of course, how do we appeal to the general population? The biggest concern will be implementing cables underneath roads in order to charges cars/vehicles. Unfortunately, this is an extremely costly undertaking. For example, a 2.2 Kilometer loop for a zoo recently was quoted a cost of around $550,000 (Ahn). In the meantime, car/vehicle market share will be shared among gas, hybrid, and electric vehicles, until costs can be reduced in implementing OLEVs.
Ahn, Seungyoung, Nam Pyo Suh, and Dong-Ho Cho. "The All-Electric Car You Never Plug In." Green Tech. Ieee Spectrum, 26 Mar. 2013. Web. <http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/advanced-cars/the-allelectric-car-you-never-plug-in>.
Michelsen, Thatcher. "Online Electric Vehicles Could Revolutionize The Green Car Market." Green Living Blog Social Network and Green Boutique Healthy Living Healthy Planet RSS. Life Is Green, 26 Feb. 2013. Web. <http://www.lifeisgreen.com/online-electric-vehicles-could-revolutionize-the-green-car-market/2013/02/26/>.
Novel, Sanjay. "Life On Technology." Life On Technology RSS. TechnoWorld, 26 June 2013. Web. <http://lifeontechno.com/online-electric-vehicles-olev/>.
Straight, Brian. "Taking Electric Vehicle Range Limitations Out of the Equation." Trucking Straight Talk. Fleet Owner, 4 Jan. 2012. Web. <http://fleetowner.com/blog/taking-electric-vehicle-range-limitations-out-equation-0>.