Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Fuel Scoops

An in-road electric charging system for hybrids and electric vehicles
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Local governments could provide rails in the road like model Scalextric cars use. These would be provided to top up batteries on electric cars.

They would be placed in areas where traffic moves slowly or is stopped, like at traffic lights.

Drivers could elect to lower their fuel scoop contacts to plug into the city electricity supply for a quick charge.

Lithium batteries used in next generation electric cars can be charged quickly.

Pat-O-Cake, Jan 19 2008

Electric Highway http://rpm2.8k.com/car.htm
[MisterQED, Jan 19 2008]

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       And these would be like, what, the third rail on electric railways?   

       [Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!]
DrCurry, Jan 19 2008
  

       It may be possible to use induction? Or some more modern power transfer interface than used on the toy cars
Pat-O-Cake, Jan 19 2008
  

       Category check, please.   

       Also: why should the city pay to run your vehicle?
phoenix, Jan 19 2008
  

       If they were equipped with the pay&pass stuff like some tollways, they could charge you for charging you.
lurch, Jan 19 2008
  

       I was going to enter this idea till I found a website devoted solely to it. I'll find the link. It is a great idea and I think it would drop long haul trucking prices dramatically, but with all the info I found about it on the web, it seemed too known to submit.
MisterQED, Jan 19 2008
  

       //like model scaletrix cars use to top up batteries //
Scalextric (note spelling) cars don't use batteries.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 19 2008
  

       If the tires had some copper wires laced in them that would wear down as the tires do, they could connect to strips in the roads. These could be flush with road and only in places where there is no pedestrian traffic, like on highways.
Giblet, Jan 20 2008
  

       I read an entire book, about 1œ" thick, about all the attempts over the years to develop tram systems that don't need overhead cables. The persistent problems have always been stray pedestrians and rainwater. The most promising was a system of pop-up contacts that would retract into the road except when there was a tram over. These would be spaced at such centres that there would always be two or three under a tram: but in practice there was forever the odd contact that failed to retract and instead sat around waiting for pedestrians to electrocute themselves. The idea wasn't pursued for long.   

       I fear that I have no faith whatsoever in the ability of the passage of time to turn a bad idea into a good one (hence the username). Both physics and human nature are the same now as they were then. In short, don't. [-]
Ned_Ludd, Jan 21 2008
  

       To kill X birds with Y stones (where Y < X) you could have a drum at traffic lights which spins when it's red. Assuming your hybrid car has regenerative braking it doesn't need to be modified to take advantage of the drum, you just put the front wheels on the drum and gently apply the brakes. The drum would also serve as a speed bump and braking device. If you have a normal car, you wait behind the drum.
marklar, Jan 21 2008
  

       "drum at traffic lights which spins" and when you wanna go rilly rilly fast you get the drum to go rilly rilly fast and stomp the brakes and pull the ripcord and send Evel Knievel flyin'! Yeah! Awesome!   

       Sorry. It just feels like the ol' Stunt Machine toy. It might be cool for bicyclists looking for thrills, though.
elhigh, Jan 22 2008
  

       If tires had copper wires laced in them they would likely cut themselves to ribbons as they slid down the roadways on these strips in the roads. Sorry, Michigan is slippery enough in winter.   

       I would think the tram contacts could be buried underneath some kind of largish weatherstripping, but maintenance would be nightmarish for a state that can't even manage to fix potholes properly.   

       Alternatively switching on and off short sections of track as needed would likely take a huge amount of unsightly and expensive power transformers.
RayfordSteele, Jan 24 2008
  
      
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