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NO fuel consumption!

Pave roads with induction leads in them: drive without using fuel!
  (+2, -14)(+2, -14)(+2, -14)
(+2, -14)
  [vote for,

Do you know the electric toothbrushes that charge themselves, but don't have any electrical contacts with the charger itself? That's called induction - transmitting electricity without contact.

Now, you know the problem with the electrical vehicles currently available/under development? Right! Range. Plus, they have to constantly haul 2 tonnes of batteries with them, which is rather inefficient.

Now, combine the two: an electric engine powered by induction leads which are paved in the road you drive over! Bonuses: lightweight vehicle, and practically unlimited range!

ZaPH0D, Nov 20 2001

streetlight motion detector http://www.halfbake...20motion_20detector
See my annotation to this idea from [egnor]. [hippo, Nov 20 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) (Yay!) http://www.halfbake...flying_20cars_20yay
Make it fly too [lubbit, Nov 20 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Inductive charging: Stretch of highway converted to allow EVs to charge as they move https://thedriven.i...harge-as-they-move/
[Voice, May 04 2023]

lifetime emissions of cars https://theicct.org...ncentives-ev-mar22/
More bang for the buck: a comparison of the life-cycle greenhouse gas emission benefits and incentives of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles in Germany [Loris, May 04 2023]


       Peter: Yah, given. But at first, only wire high-traffic roads - gives high 'value-for-money' so to speak..   

       RT: Think of bi-fuel cars (not unheard of): Burn fuel for long distance, consume battery power for short trips. This would give you your freedom to go wherever (gas), but still save when on high-traffic main roads (electric). Also, tram-lines and such would be too much of a freedom steeler.
ZaPH0D, Nov 20 2001

       //drive without using fuel//   

       Surely you mean "drive without needing to carry fuel in your car."
PotatoStew, Nov 20 2001

       Yes, fuel will be consumed. It's just a matter of where. Transmitting the energy produced by that fuel would certainly be less efficient than being able to produce it locally. When using that energy to move a transit system, the effect of a failure in the system would be magnified greatly--not just on the segment that is down, but on those segments with traffic destined for the damaged area.   

       Novel idea, but not really new, and impractical.
Guncrazy, Nov 20 2001

       Shouldn't it be "behold, no fuel consumption" instead?
pottedstu, Nov 21 2001

       we could all mfd it and then it would be "Behold, no 'no fuel consumption'"
lewisgirl, Nov 21 2001

       Another Zaphod--how distressing--oh well, parallel universe and all. Just teleport, baby. Use your own gas.
zaphod12, Nov 21 2001

       And above all, be froody.
phoenix, Nov 21 2001

       Why not push your car? I recommend a compact.
thumbwax, Nov 22 2001

       Pedal it. Get a bicycle crank and chain and couple it to the wheels. You must not classify what you eat as 'fuel', though.
neelandan, Nov 22 2001

       Other foolproof methods for driving without fuel:   

       1. Live at the top of a hill. Less effective when coming home.   

       2. Get a large number of fat friends in the back of the car. If they jump out the back, the principle of the conservation of momentum will ensure the car moves forwards. However, you may class fat people as fuel.   

       3. Detonate a tactical nuclear weapon behind your car. Considered by NASA as a possibility for space travel, but requires heavy shielding. Nuclear materials are also technically fuel.   

       4. A big spring on the front of your house.   

       5. Something involving gyroscopes.   

       6. Ski poles.   

       7. A photon sail. The pressure of the sun's rays will produce a small but real acceleration. Whether this is enough to overcome friction is uncertain.   

       8. A wind sail. Land yachts are lamentably underused.   

       9. Something involving buttered toast, cats and rotating gravity by 90 degrees.   

       10. Employ an army of sulky teenagers to lean against your car, all pushing the same direction.   

       Send money and patent lawyers now.
pottedstu, Nov 22 2001

       Eric Laithwaite already did that, [Rods].
angel, Nov 23 2001

       'what else burns apart from patent lawyers' 'err...more patent lawyers'
chud, Feb 09 2002

       There's a system like this in The Gold Coast by Kim Stanley Robinson, if anyone's ever read it.
magnificat, Feb 10 2002

       Umm, My physics is a little shakey, but won't Lenz's law defeat the purpose of the induction coils? If the speed of the Vehicle was related to the current being inducted, the vehicle would speed up, causing more induction, causing more speed, ad infinitum, causing perpetual energy & motion (A law-of-nature-no-no), EXCEPT for Lenz's law, which states that the current will be inducted in a direction opposing the original. I'm probably wrong, though.
QuadAlpha, Feb 11 2002

       This is a "perpetual motion machine" idea. The power for the induction would have to be on all the time, probably wasting a lot of energy. I'd prefer a proper mass transit system.
Turok, Feb 11 2002

       As a side benefit, you could just sprinkle pieces of metal on the road to melt ice, and when too many cars were on the same section of road, they would necessarily slow down, as they all tried to draw current from the same source. And the upshot is when you're stranded by a power outage, anyone who comes to help will be stranded too, so at least you'll have someone to talk to.
dangerousdan, Feb 11 2002

       What would be the effect of these induction coils if I tried to ride along the road on a steel bicycle. Would I have to fight the magnetic fields, would my bike heat up or start generating electricity ?
MichaelW, Jul 04 2002

       sorta reminds you of minority report. those wierd roads. it'd be really hard to get away from the police though
ShnargleMonster, Mar 03 2003

       Ever noticed the correlation between ideas with exclamation marks in the title and fishbones? (urinating dog, urinating dog)
Zircon, Mar 04 2003

       In matters of propulsion a corollary is pondered... How would one stop the vehicle?
ato_de, Mar 05 2003

       Amazing how much brain power is wasted here shooting down ideas. Giving some serious thought to this idea... Induction can't be used solely so the cars would have to have some energy storage capability, perhaps not much. Not all roads would have induction capability so this is probably a hybrid approach. Likely, trasmitting induction coils would be in sections and not all all simultaneously energized. Some sensing technology would be employed to energize the appropriate coil. There's no such thing as a free lunch. The same sensing technology would be used to bill you for your energy consumption. If we are talking about costs and efficiencies here, someone should calculate the energy spent to move the "average half tank" of gasoline the estimated 4 trillion miles per year that Americans drive (EPA estimate for year 2000). In a hybrid, this is offset of course, because there will be some fuel and some battery weight.   

       Any serious comments?
whatif, Jul 19 2003

       The fuel is mostly used in building the vehicle, typically at least 5 times as much as will ever be used by the vehicle. ie the miner must drive to the ore mine etc. Therefore anything with two motors must use more fuel than something with one. Keep that old car polished and on the road for real fuel savings.
MeWeBe, Apr 24 2007

       Have you any reliable references to back that up?   

       Don't forget to recycle the car at the end of its life too; then, the miner no longer has to drive to the ore mine.
david_scothern, Apr 24 2007

       But prolong the life of the old beater as long as possible before recycling. Even slightly higher tailpipe emissions are better than the energy waste to tear apart and melt down the old hunk-a-junk.
Hunter79764, Apr 24 2007

       Reading the link posted today by [Voice], it occurred to me I travel to work every day in an electric car powered by the road it's on (or sometimes by overhead wires). Admittedly, the car is carrying dozens of people, and the "road" is delineated by rails, but still... I think economics and environmental costs still favor investing in railway improvements - both passenger and freight - over electrified roads for passenger cars.
a1, May 04 2023

       [a1]; on the one hand, yes. Definitely should be more rail around the... everywhere.
But on the other, frequently people need to go where the rails don't.
So the answer is (obviously) to do both! People seem to always get stuck on the "there must be ONE solution!" stance, when a mix of options is the real answer.
neutrinos_shadow, May 04 2023

       // frequently people need to go where the rails don't. //   

       Yes, but if you're not able to put rails somewhere, how are you going to build an electrified road there?
a1, May 04 2023

       An electric train MUST be on the rails to work.
A car (presumably with a battery as well as the inductive system) can go off the system. So you only build the induction coils under the big roads, highways etc, & keep the suburbs with normal roads.
neutrinos_shadow, May 04 2023

       //The fuel is mostly used in building the vehicle, typically at least 5 times as much as will ever be used by the vehicle. ie the miner must drive to the ore mine etc. Therefore anything with two motors must use more fuel than something with one. Keep that old car polished and on the road for real fuel savings.//   

       This doesn't actually seem to be the case.
I found a number of bar charts online (example linked) which shows lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of various vehicles.
The largest fraction of all ICE-only vehicles was fuel consumption, followed by fuel production. Therefore, the CO2 emissions are mostly caused by using the vehicle, rather than manufacturing it.
For plug-in hybrid vehicles, the overall height of the bar is lower (i.e. they have fewer grams CO2 emissions equivalent per km), but still, fuel consumption is the largest component. Combined with fuel production and electricity production, fuel is very much the bulk of the total amount, with vehicle and battery manufacture actually only fractionally larger than the ICE-only vehicles. I suspect this is because they can use clever optimisations like relatively small, efficient engines to generate electricity, which then drives the wheels.
It doesn't matter for disproving the above claim, but it should be noted that battery-electric vehicles /do/ have a near-equivalent requirement for vehicle+battery manufacture vs electricity usage, but the lifecycle emissions per km are again lower... of course they only have the one engine.
Loris, May 04 2023

       // A car (presumably with a battery as well as the inductive system) can go off the system. //   

       The idea as originally stated was NO battery on board, powered only by induction. If you include a battery, installing more public charging stations may more practical than a powered/charging roadway like the one [Voice] linked earlier.
a1, May 04 2023

       //NO battery on board//
Ah. Missed that assumption
But that's a really bad design. Induction loops all the way into your garage? And no chance of going anywhere that the road doesn't (ever parked your car in a field?).
neutrinos_shadow, May 05 2023

       Aye, that probably explains the fishbones.   

       A middle ground - an EV with very limited battery range, intended only for in-town commuter use, might make sense in a planned community with electrified roads. Very limited use case though.
a1, May 05 2023

       // might make sense in a planned community with electrified roads // I would think you'd want to aim a little higher. What if we electrified only divided highways? Maybe just start with one lane. That makes long trips a breeze. People who commute on the highway can make it to work without a problem. For someone who stays pretty local, plugging in when they get home will easily keep them topped off. Or better yet (depending on efficiency) buy a charging pad for the floor of the garage where you park. From there you might expand onto a few major arterial streets.   

       I need to see how this works though, I'm having a hard time imagining 200kW charging that isn't going to get a lot of people worried about safety, and efficiency seems like a problem as well.
scad mientist, May 05 2023


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