Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Boothless toll road.

Use induction electicity generation to gather tolls from drivers.
  (+8, -6)
(+8, -6)
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Rather than having drivers stop and drop change in a toll booth, or through an RFID pass system, charge vehicles by taking some momentum.

Line the road with induction coils. As vehicles pass slow the vehicles slightly and convert the momentum into electricty which can be pushed to the grid.

This will reduce mileage slightly, similar to driving up a slight slope. More for heavier vehicles. Drivers will have to purchase more fuel to offset this, and the toll road operator is selling electricity.

This will encourage people to drive lighter and more fuel efficent vehicles (because the toll will be effectivly less), and the tolls will be precisely gauged to the mass of the vehicle, which also related directly to the wear and tear that the vehicle puts on the road.

Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 18 2007

My inspiration Electricity_20generation
[Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 18 2007]

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       Buckle up kids, we're heading for "The Force Field" - we need to reach top speed to make it through!...
Jinbish, Jan 18 2007
  

       [Jinblish] Good point. Have to make sure that the ramp up is gradual. Don't want people hitting a wall.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 18 2007
  

       I'd like to see the poor guy in his Citroen 2CV!
webfishrune, Jan 18 2007
  

       Well that top speed of 40mph, might not be reached.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 18 2007
  

       bun from me
samosa_pirate, Jan 21 2007
  

       //and the tolls will be precisely gauged to the mass of the vehicle, which also related directly to the wear and tear that the vehicle puts on the road.//
Not necessarily. The pressure per unit of area exherted by the vehicle is the determining factor in damage to road surface.
methinksnot, Jan 21 2007
  

       What's in it for the toll gatherers? They want money - not some fleeting source of electricity generation.
Texticle, Jan 21 2007
  

       //I'd like to see the poor guy in his Citroen 2CV!??
But he could lift his car up high on its fancy suspension, thereby lessening the inductive force on it. (At least, I think that would work...)
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 21 2007
  

       [Texicle] The toll gatherers (who are often the local government, or closely tied to it.) sell the electricity.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 22 2007
  

       I gathered that. This would be a far from economic means of revenue though, with significant capital costs involved. Local government, like anyone, would rather just get paid directly, in actual money.   

       Leave electricity generation for more appropriate and economically viable sites.
Texticle, Jan 22 2007
  

       Let's say a normal toll is $1 for a normal stretch of toll road. Let's say a car's engine is 25% efficient and your generation system is 80% efficient (super-generous). That means that in order for the toll operator to gain $1 in revenue per car (i.e. the normal amount), each car will have to burn an additional $5 worth of fuel over the stretch in question. You will need to impose some unfeasibly mighty resistance upon motorists' forward motion in order to reap that sort of additional fuel consumption.   

       Furthermore, why would motorists want to pay $5 as opposed to the $1 he/she would pay under the normal system? The end result is still $1 in the council coffers. Of course, the oil companies may enjoy the $4 per car premium, but I doubt that they need that sort of charity.   

       Plus of course the set up costs versus generation capacity would be totally offensive to even the most ardent hamster power supporter.
Texticle, Jan 22 2007
  

       There's no need to sell the power, it could be donated free of charge.   

       The gain for governments would be in the form of extra fuel purchased. Fuel has a tax on it - the more we buy, the more the gubmint takes away from us, dag nabbit.   

       So by forcing people to use more fuel, the government forces them to pay more money by way of increased taxes. The government receives more money, the sky turns black, ice caps melt, and Washington floods.   

       I fail to see a downside.
shapu, Jan 22 2007
  

       This is a perfect government scheme...too complicated for anyone to actually figure out the costs and benefits, yet will require the use of gobs of tax dollars to study and implement. It will also make for some nice sound bites at election time. I will grant you an extra bun credit on this months welfare.
Salted Nuts, Jan 24 2007
  

       Would a plastic car pass for free?
Canuck, Jan 24 2007
  

       /Would a plastic car pass for free?/   

       So long as it has a plastic engine.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 24 2007
  

       Great! I'll just wind up the rubber band...
Canuck, Jan 24 2007
  
      
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