The Korea Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST) has developed a revolutionary electric vehicle that neatly side-steps the looming political/economic issue of scarcity of advanced battery materials, as well as the practical limitations imposed by battery weight and life, by dispensing with batteries altogether! The OLEV (On Line Electric Vehicle) draws power from cables buried in the road-bed, differing from existing electric train and bus technology in that the power is transfered by magnetic induction without physical contact of any kind. KAIST claims to achieve 80% efficiency of power-transfer across a 1cm gap, and 60% efficiency across a 12cm gap!
The institute, which is Korea’s foremost technological University and operates with a government mandate to pursue economically strategic R&D projects, has now established a commercial off-shoot to promote and exploit this technology. According to the University, "online electric vehicle co., ltd., will undertake business activities related to the OLEV project, including the ipr on power supply and pick-up devices, parts and accessories and commercial promotion.