S.Korea goes green with electric transport

13:26, March 10, 2010      

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South Korea is trying a new way to turn public transport green by using a technology popular in electric toothbrushes and razors to power buses and cars.

The country's top technology university Tuesday unveiled a new electric transport powered by recharging strips embedded in roads that transfer energy through magnetic connections. There are no direct connections with wires.

Vehicles with sensor-driven magnetic devices on their underside suck up energy as they travel over the strips embedded a few centimeters under the road.

"The technological concept behind the idea has been around for about 100 years. We have found a better way to transfer the electricity to make it practical," said B.K. Park, a project member at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

The university about 140 kilometers south of Seoul has four prototype buses using the technology on its campus and is in talks with Seoul and other cities to have buses running in the next three years using the system called "online electrical vehicle."

The strips are in segments of several tens of meters in length and vehicles receive what is termed "micro charges" each time they pass over one.

Unlike electric lines used for trams, a person can touch the lines without receiving a shock.

The cost of installing the system is an estimated 400 million won ($353,500) per kilometer of road. Electricity is extra.

Source: Global Times
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