Japanese city to pioneer car charging at traffic lights

Kashiwa-no-ha’s use of EVs and (eventually) automated trolley buses is intended to decrease the city’s impact on its environment (Abasa/Public Domain)
The city of Kashiwa-no-ha on the northeast corner of Tokyo Bay has become the first Japanese city to test wireless charging for EVs, The University Journal reports.

The universities of Tokyo and Chiba are doing the trial with nine companies, including Japanese tire maker Bridgeston and real estate group Mitsui Fudosan.

The idea is to put a wire coil in the road surface in front of traffic lights so cars can charge when they’re red.

The theory is that a 10-second charge will let a typical EV travel one extra kilometre.

Tokyo University says the trial will run from October to March 2024 under the direction of the Ministry of Transport near the west exit of Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station.

The system was developed by Professor Hiroshi Fujimoto and Associate Professor Osamu Shimizu of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo.

To increase the efficiency of the process, a current only passes through the chargers when a vehicle is detected.

Kashiwa is billed as a “smart city” based on a partnership involving the public, private, and academic sectors.

Hitachi’s website describes it as “a revolutionary community development project”.

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