Honda In Road Charging Tech Gives 25 Miles Of Range For 1 Mile Of Infrastructure

MAR 3 2017 BY MARK KANE 65

Honda Fit EV – available in the U.S. in 2012-2014

Fit EV Interior

The research team at Honda R &D Co. has, for couple of years now, been developing a high-power, contact-type dynamic charging system for electric vehicles. What is dynamic charging? Well, filling up your battery while moving down the road, of course. And the best part is that you only need charging lanes in four percent of the total distance traveled. That means you need one mile of charging road for every 25 miles in your tank. If you had those chargers installed, your car would feel like it had unlimited range.

Two power levels are being considered: 180 kW (600 VDC, 300 A) for cars and 400 kW for heavy duty vehicles. The dynamic charging would be performed at speeds up to 96 mph (155 km/h), for the cars, at least.

Costs for the contact-type dynamic charging are said to be 20 times lower than non-contact systems (or what is known as wireless charging). Results of the developments will be presented at the WCX 17: SAE World Congress Experience in Detroit in early April.

Honda Fit EV charging old way

Reducing the amount of CO2 emissions to zero while driving is considered an important goal for the mobility sector in order to achieve a zero CO2 society. A key point in achieving this is the further evolution of electrified vehicles that are driven only by motors and are not equipped with a generator that uses fossil fuels, that is to say electric vehicles (EV) and fuel cell vehicles (FCV). Major issues facing EV include range, charging (hassle, time, construction of infrastructure), and reduced driving performance due to increased vehicle weight. Technology enabling to both supply power and perform charging while driving (dynamic charging) is being researched and developed as a means of addressing issues such as those above. If the amount of energy that can be supplied while driving does not at least exceed the driving energy of the traveling vehicle, then battery charging cannot be performed, and the vehicle would also need to continuously travel in a restricted lane in the manner of a train. In addition, dynamic charging of large vehicles traveling intermixed with regular vehicles calls for power supply on the level of 400 kW. Against this background, this study developed a high-power dynamic charging system that uses high power to charge a traveling EV, with the goal of realizing an unlimited vehicle range. This enables complete energy refueling (charging) of a traveling EV in a short time and allows drivers to freely drive over the intended route after charging. This report describes a system that enables dynamic charging with a charging power of 180 kW (DC 600 V, 300 A) while driving at a vehicle speed of 155 km/h, presents the results of running tests, and discusses future prospects.”

Study of High Power Dynamic Charging System

Source: Green Car Congress

Categories: Charging, Honda


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65 Comments on "Honda In Road Charging Tech Gives 25 Miles Of Range For 1 Mile Of Infrastructure"

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Only if Honda would make decent BEV that could take advantage of this, maybe CA high speed rail fund will be diverted to something like this instead.

Excellent idea. Ditch the train an work on special charging lanes. Folks with autonomous driving could ride in this lane just like they were on a train.

Hopefully if this tech ever comes to reality, I hope it can be retrofitted to any existing BEV. Sweet idea.

$10 million per lane mile with hundreds of lane miles adds up to billions of dollars with lots of torn up roads for years.

$70B estimate for CA high speed rail, but it’ll be over $100B (or $140B) with all the cost overruns typical of government projects. At $0.01B/mi, that’s 7000 miles to 14,000 miles of this kind of road. Because not everyone will need to charge on the run, it doesn’t have to be every single lane.

Sounds great to me!

HSR is much different than this, I won’t defend HSR but it is not an either/or decision.

When it comes to CA HSR, it is a NOT decision.

Everything is a decision, you could choose not to come here anymore, but that probably won’t happen.

When your state has no real cash reserves and is perpetually in debt, it NEEDS to be an either/or.

I don’t even see how you could practically wire this thing. I mean with that charging capability, how do you handle the very high current need of all the cars that will be charging SIMULTANEOUSLY on that same stretch of road. And to have effective distance transmission, AC would be preferred. However, the cars can’t be carrying around these huge AC-DC converters without huge space and expense requirements.

AC is indeed likley required to avoid corrosion issues, but AC-DC conversion means four diodes, not expensive nor a problem

Not at the charging rates most cars utilize. You don’t run 50-70 amps through 4 diodes.

“You don’t run 50-70 amps through 4 diodes”

What do you mean by that? A quick google yielded this baby:

3800 A, about the size of a hocky puck.

What is exactly the problem? Am I missing something?


You are aware that EVERY electric car is ALREADY carrying around the EXACT AC-DC converter you are talking about, right? It’s called a “charger” or “inverter” and in all modern electric cars it’s INSIDE THE CAR.

That thing you plug into is a glorified switch that turns the power on to the charger, nothing more.

obJustification: I design electric vehicles for a living.

The old Honda FIT EV had no problems.
They simply need to refresh the tech and the battery.

Honda’s CEO should be FIRED for Incompetence.

They have bullet trains in Japan with a capacity of over 1200 people travelling at over 150 MPH and slightly smaller capacity ones travelling at over 200 MPH.
If your talking about large transit corridors no amount of individual electric cars is going to get anywhere near the capacity and efficiency of a properly designed mass transit system.
As good as modern electric cars are, they just aren’t in the same league as bullet trains when it comes to moving a large number of people down a single transit corridor.

Didn’t we have this as kids? I believe they were “slot cars”. They included lane control as well. Just speed was user controlled. πŸ˜‰

I has one, but they would flip off the track pretty easily, at least the early ones did.


You must’ve been a terrible driver. You have to slow down to take the turns.

Speed Controls on them were not as smooth as on today’s EV’s, unfortunately!

It’s on/off keying. You have to modulate with your fingers to get the duty cycle lower.

Yeah, that was the fun part. If they always stayed on then it’d be pretty boring, no?

I had a set back in the 1960s. I was shocked at how simple they were. I thought the simplicity was a rip off because “real cars” were so complex. It wasn’t until years later I realized the simplicity was a significant advantage.

“Dynamic contact” sounds like the slot racers of my youth, or the buses we had before GM bought them out, and replaced them with stinking diesel. Bring it on!

Right. Like the old Red Car system L.A. had along with many others, which GM and a consortium of shell companies, destroyed many trolley systems throughout the U.S. by buying them up and then running them down in order to sell their rotten stinking buses.

My dad hated GM because of this. I remember the arc when the buses would cross from one line to another. And the stink, several years, later stuck behind a CM diesel bus. Can’t repeat what my dad said. πŸ™‚

We had electric interurban light rail all over Wisconsin from the late 1890s until 1950 too.

Yeah, they ripped up or paved over the rails and burned all the streetcars. Even before my time most of them were gone.

Your dad had the right to be offended, one of saddest examples of corporate greed in the history of American business, and one with far reaching and deleterious consequences that continue to reverberate down through the decades.

Modern corporations check off all the boxes for Sociopathy.
Might as well be zombies.

Tesla is a corporation, so is Apple, GM, practically everything you buy is made by corporations. Even your local organic farmer is probably a corporation. If you’re working, you’re most likely a member of a corporation.

We are zombies for providing great service and products while unemployed bums or living on government handout are not? If anything, people not involved with a corporation are blood sucking zombie leeches.

So, you think all children, students, retirees, those who are self-employed, and those too disabled to work, are “blood-sucking zombie leeches”, hmmm?

All those who want to know how the “1%” can rationalize hoarding nearly all the world’s wealth for themselves, need look no further than Sparky’s posts.

If you had to choose which are zombies, those who are involved with corporations or those who are not, answer is clearly those who are not.

Many (or most) self employed are also corporations. Students who can choose their school are part of corporations (ie. charter schools). Even most public school students grow up to participate in corporations. Most retired were part of corporations, living from their savings during their corporate days.

Your rant against 1% is just what North Korean leader would say. Fact is, people who worked so hard to become 1% provide most jobs in US. They should be admired, not demonized. I hope I can be 1% some day, and provide jobs for people.

Relax SparkEV. Take a soothing ride on public transit.

Hey, sometimes I feel like a Zombie, too.

All Power to the benevolent Oligarchs!

I took public transit couple of months ago. It reeked of urine. It wasn’t relaxing at all.

In US, most of the rich came from much poorer background. In effect, they created their wealth (and jobs). There is no “oligarchy”. Hard work and bit of luck could make you the richest man in the world; he wasn’t born that way.

“contact-type dynamic charging system” – this is called a trolleybus Honda. And someone invented it already.

This is so not ever gonna happen…

You are probably correct, but that can probably be said for at least 70% of the new ideas reported here.

Once, just once, in all these articles posted to the Internet about on-the-fly or “dynamic” charging of EVs, I’d like to see an actual “napkin math” estimate of the cost of installation. Even at only 1 mile in 25, my guess is the cost for installing such a system in all the highways and major roads in the USA would be in the high trillions, if not quadrillions, of dollars.

If there is any idea related to EVs that is even more absurd, impractical, and wildly too expensive than the “hydrogen economy”, it’s this one. (However, “solar roadways” are an even worse idea!)

Why not just do interstates?
With a 150 mile range, you could still do pretty well. Of course there are situations where a non interstate is better but probably most trips over 100 miles use interstates at least partly.

If it was $1million a mile, that is just $50 billion. I mean there are people that have that much money. I suspect the federal government spends that every week.

There are just under 50,000 interstate miles. And that cost is for every interstate mile – that way you could drive 100 miles to the interstate and recover your charge and then drive another 100 miles off the interstate. That handles a large majority of road trips.

350 kW HPFC infrastructure make a lot more sense to me than more expensive and difficult to install wireless charging while driving, considering that we need something that’s available all over the place.

I would love it if cars could be charged from the road F-Zero style. πŸ™‚

But for now, how about Honda just gives their EVs a decent range and actually sells them? *Then* they can start thinking about this kind of stuff.

Don’t see how contact-type is doable except on limited-access freeways due to the safety issue — 600V, or even 400V, to match current and near-future EV voltages, is plenty to fry a human (and I don’t see that safety interlocks are possible here — the switching currents to turn the power on/off so quickly on every small road segment would be horrendous.)
Doing it on freeways only doesn’t solve even in the slightest the long-distance charging issue.
And implementation, even on freeways only, would be horrendously expensive, both installation and maintenance. You also need every lane to have it.

Bottom line, a complete non-starter, only worth PR value. I very much hope no public or private grant money from any source was involved.

Boo Honda.

Why do you need it on every lane? Driving down the freeway is only 20 kW (or 12.4 kW for SparkEV at 62 MPH), and road would charge at 180 kW. At that power level, just 20 minutes (60 kWh) could get you 3 hours of freeway driving.

Besides, not everyone will want to charge on-the-go as it will be more expensive than home charging. Then it will be used by those who are on long trips who rather not stop for DCFC.

Whether it’s cost effective is unknown since the details are sketchy. But if possible, I think it’s a great idea.

The safety part would be tricky, but it’s not correct to say that every lane has to have it. Note that they specifically say that the charge rate has to be higher than the discharge rate so that cars aren’t stuck to it like a trolley.

I’d imagine that the most basic installation would be Supercharger style with a few dozen miles on a single toll lane halfway between cities. That what allow city-to-city driving and could be paid with a hefty toll for the convenience of the charging lane.

I don’t think you fully understand the concept. It’s not power the car, or keep your car fully charged at all times. It’s to give your car boost on long trips. Basically replacing the Tesla Supercharger Network and others like it by placing these 1 mile “power sections” at intervals on interstates, freeways and some highways.

The idea is to get the electric car to it’s far away destination without stopping. They would not need to be in every street in America, only the major freeways. I don’t know if this works any better than the latest super duper solid state battery announced, it may be complete bunk too, but it is a good idea.

Why would it need to be on every lane? Because otherwise, in case of a crowded road, you’re going to get people fighting each other about who gets to use it, merging unexpectedly. Pretty dangerous at 60+ mph.
It’s also an issue with overtaking — if a slow-moving vehicle is on the single lane with the charging conduit, a driver who wants to charge but is driving faster needs to either slow down and follow the slowpoke, or give up on charging for a lot of the stretch.
If the idea is being able to charge while still driving normally, this is in no way driving normally, and violates the universal lane-usage protocol. I want a driver concentrating on the road, not adding an additional thing to juggle in mind.

A toll lane just for this is horrendously expensive as it is (hopefully you don’t think actual toll booths would be needed), and having one just for a mile causes serious merging on/off issues.
The US is sparse, but most of the world is 10x more densely populated, and wouldn’t necessarily afford room for an additional lane width just for this.

You’re assuming these lanes must be “universal”, but you debunked yourself by invoking toll roads. Just like there’s parking for EV charging only, there could be toll roads for EV charging only. In case of toll lanes, it could also open up (and not charge) if toll lanes get too full and demand for charging too low.

Crowd (demand) is a function of cost. Properly managed cost (some would call gouging during high demand) won’t result in any crowding. It’s just like oil where we have infinite supply of it; only limit is the cost.

“Doing it on freeways only doesn’t solve even in the slightest the long-distance charging issue.”

Yes, and thank you for injecting a note of sanity in response to this insane idea.

What anyone proposing this galactically insane idea apparently fails to understand is that it serves no purpose doing this anywhere unless it’s done everywhere, and simultaneously. The only advantage this system gives is that it would allow PEVs (Plug-in EVs) with small battery packs to travel longer distances… but only where such electrified roads go.

Nope, this wouldn’t help with EV adoption in the slightest. Anybody buying a BEV would still need one with a larger battery pack, so they could travel longer distances on roads that are not electrified in the manner described. There is no mass market for cars that can be driven only on certain roads, and not others!

It wouldn’t do any good to have all the freeways in the USA electrified if none of the national highways were. It wouldn’t do any good to have all the national highways in the USA electrified if none of the State highways were. Etc. etc.

Charge rate of 25 miles from one mile of charging roadway at up to 96 mph. That means you get 25 miles of charge in 37.5 seconds. That my friends is Quick Charge!

How could this ever work on busy roads if most cars were EVs? In one mile, you have hundreds of cars trying to charge. No way could it supply enough current. How many cars did they test it with? One?

Why couldn’t you supply enough power?

We run whole data centers which run into the hundreds of mega watts. You could charge 500 cars at once with that power level.

And 500 cars at 1 mile of road is pretty packed πŸ˜‰


Great point. πŸ˜€

What’s with these Japanese companies not being satisfied with the current EV technology?

They just seem to insist that people will not accept EVs with the technology that Tesla has. I think that is wrong…if you could buy a Model S for $30K, I think it would sell huge numbers.

We’ll soon find out with the Model 3 (400k reservations), and we already have the Bolt, so almost $30k cars are here with decent range.

I love this concept and have considered it often over the past couple years. A few comments: 1. 25 miles of charge in 1 mile is a 30 mph type number. A mile of 180 kW highway gives you about 10 miles of range. 2. Cost should be near $1 million per mile. Similar to high speed rail pantographs. 3. 50k miles of rural interstate * 2 directions = 10k miles wired = $10 billion. Double it for popular rural state highways. 4. $10 billion is roughly a month’s worth of oil imports. This is really the only way to move EVs into the mainstream before 2030. Everyone here thinks the world is dying to buy EVs if only the Big 3 would build good ones and advertise them. That’s a fantasy. The Bolt is a $40k Honda Fit that doesn’t even work for long trips. The Model 3, when it finally shows up, targets BMW 3-series niche. People want mid-size cars that cost $25k and go cross country. They want SUVs and pickups. They want five minute pit stops. Think of how many gas pumps there are along rural interstates. Now multiply that by 20-40 to get how many… Read more »

“2. Cost should be near $1 million per mile. Similar to high speed rail pantographs.”

Oh, no. Cost to install and maintain that sort of thing in the road pavement would be orders of magnitude more expensive than stringing overhead lines. Maintenance would be a nightmare, because it would require road construction and detours, with the associated difficulties and expenses of all that.

Part of the reason it would cost much more than you suggest is that you’re ignoring the cost of providing all that electrical power, and the infrastructure needed to dynamically adjust the power to meet demand at every point in the system.

How are the dynamic power requirements for this any worse than for DCFCs?

I can’t find details on Honda’s system, but they claim 1/20th the cost of dynamic wireless. Here’s a study that looks at an 80 kW dynamic wireless system for buses in Gumi City South Korea. They said 617m of Power Track cost $658k. That’s a little less than $2 million per mile. I don’t see how Honda’s wired system could be 1/20th of that, but it should be a lot cheaper.

Their 617m of Power Track is only 2% of the total route (50:1 ratio) because they placed them where the buses drive slow and/or are stopped. I still don’t understand a 25:1 ratio at highway speeds. Maybe I’ll buy the paper when they it comes out.

Come on – infrastructure to adjust demand? Like electric companies couldn’t figure that out? Like the amount of traffic is not super predictable and changing the supplied energy on the fly is hard?

I get that you think this is hokey. Convenience is super important to people. Building out any charging infrastructure is expensive. This one takes no additional space which in crowded parts of the world is kind of a big deal. The vast majority of people and cars are in pretty dense locations – not Kansas.

Electrifying roads does not mean you can only drive on those roads. I think you can figure that one out.

Construction stinks – but you can also envision an installation that is fast, leaves an unslightly stripe down the lane, but doesn’t require years of lane closures.

True enough, but it’s a poor idea anyway. I think that ordinary charging when [b]parked[/b] is superior.

I saw no details or even mention of Honda’s system in your slide show. Mostly a bunch of bizarre claims (e.g. EV batteries must be replaced every 2-5 years). Perhaps you linked to the wrong slide show?

Here is a really insane idea. Take 150-200 pound primates, put them in 1.5-2 ton robots, and let them hurtle at each other, a few feet apart, at 150 mph closing speed, while burning millions of years worth of fossil fuel, so they can feel like they are accomplishing something important. I must be important, because I’m moving really, really fast.

Godless commie Pope legitimizes “reductionism.” No room for economists’ magic here.

How dangerous is the 3rd rail in a train line? Now you want to put something like a slot car track onto the road surface? Sounds good in the lab, sort of sounds scary in reality.
There is a reason light rail uses a pantograph, to stop people electrocuting themselves. So maybe we didn’t see the whole picture and this system will have the Earth in the road and the Active in the over head wire, and hence be that much cheaper. It will be funny to see all the different shaped vehicles driving with their pantograph up!
Don’t really see any other way. Wait! Why not enter a Hyper Loop, contacts pop out (Tesla door handles look well suited to this) and make the contact. Well controlled system and just as fanciful.
I’m just an old dude, but I think I’ll just plug it in periodically until they work out Nikola Tesla’s beam energy.