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Solar powered road prototype paves way for electric vehicles

A new solar cell road surface being developed in the US could be used to power electric vehicles, according to test results.

Testing of the latest prototypes from US-based Solar Roadway has suggested that solar cells incorporated into a road surface could be used to power vehicles in the future.

The technology has recently been used to construct a car park surface in the US and has “exceeded all expectations” in load testing, traction testing and impact resistance testing, according to the developer.

Solar Roadways said that the system has been proven for charging static objects, such as road signs, and technology could be developed to charge vehicles in the future.

The road surface comprises interconnected hexagonal panels, in part made of recycled glass. Testing on the recent car park installation has shown the panels to be efficient as asphalt for braking from a speed of 130kmph.

3D finite element analysis and actual load testing at civil engineering laboratories established that the panels can handle loads of up to 113kg.

The current estimate is around 8,028km2 of usable road surfaces in the US that could be covered with such panels.

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