The in-road charging technology could drastically increase the range of cars like the Nissan Leaf

Under-road wireless vehicle charging to be trialled in England

Wireless charging technology built into the road to recharge electric cars as they move will be trialled in England, officials say.

Equipment built underneath the surface of the road will be used to transmit energy to electric and hybrid engine vehicles fitted with special wireless charging technology, meaning cars would not have to stop in order to re-charge an electric battery on long journeys.

The off-road trials are expected to begin later this year, according to Highways England, and will look at the feasibility of installing the technology on motorways and major A roads in England.

Highways England chief highways engineer Mike Wilson said: "Vehicle technologies are advancing at an ever-increasing pace, and we're committed to supporting the growth of ultra-low emissions vehicles on our England's motorways and major A roads.

"The off-road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country."

Transport minister Andrew Jones added: "The potential to recharge low emission vehicles on the move offers exciting possibilities.

"The Government is already committing £500m over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology, which will help boost jobs and growth in the sector. As this study shows, we continue to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses."

The trials will involve fitting vehicles with wireless technology and testing the equipment installed underneath the road in replicated motorway conditions. They are expected to last for roughly 18 months and, subject to the results, could be followed by on road trials.

As well as these trials, Highways England said it was "committed" to installing plug-in charging points for electric cars every 20 miles on the country's motorway network, as part of the Government's Road Investment Strategy.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, since 2001 more than 35,000 electric cars have been registered in the UK.

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