In the city of Gumi, South Korea, a couple of Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) buses have hit the road. What makes these buses special is that they can recharge while driving over specially equipped asphalt. The OLEVs are currently being tested on a public transportation route in the city.
This is believed to be the first network of its kind that is open for regular use. Instead of stopping and charging the bus, it uses coils underneath the bus to pick up power through an electromagnetic field that is created by wires that are embedded in the road.
The charge can support vehicles that have a roundtrip journey of around 15 miles when completing their stops. The OLEVs can continue to run as long as 5-15% of the path is electrified. The OLEV-powering roads are still usable by normal cars too.
This technology has been spearheaded by the the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The city of Gumi plans to add 10 more buses to the OLEV fleet by 2015, according to Phys.org.