Much has been made of the New York Times review of the Tesla Model S in which the reviewer claimed the limitations of the electric car caused him to get stranded. The argument over whether long distance electric car trips are up to snuff will likely rage for the next few years, but in the meantime, a Japanese consortium is working to eliminate such concerns via a unique solution.
Led by Mitsubishi and Kyoto University, a group of Japan-based organizations have agreed to work together to develop a remote charging solution for electric cars. Composed of 22 companies and 13 universities, including Osaka University, Kajima Corp., and Omron Corp., the group hopes to make long-distance electric vehicle charging a reality within the next five years.
According to the Nikkei (subscription required), the technology will rely on microwave transmissions, but that's where the details end in terms of specifics. Back in 2006, MIT announced pioneering work in the area that showed the first steps toward remote, wireless powering of devices. The Japanese consortium's plans also include developing ways to remotely charge smartphones and even drones, a dynamic that would allow aerial robots to remain in flight indefinitely during emergencies.