The Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is an electric vehicle that can be charged while stationary or driving, thus removing the need to stop at a charging station. Likewise, an OLEV tram does not require pantographs to feed power from electric wires strung above the tram route.
After the development and operation of commercialized OLEV trams at an amusement park in Seoul KAIST is providing its citizens with OLEV public transportation services beginning August 2013. Two OLEV buses will run an inner city route for a total of 24 km (15 miles) roundtrip.
OLEV shows a groundbreaking technology that accelerates the development of purely electric vehicles as a viable option for future transportation systems by solving technological issues that limit the commercialization of electric vehicles such as price, weight, volume, driving distance, and lack of charging infrastructure.
One of the main solution is that OLEV receives power wirelessly through the application of the “Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR)” technology. SMFIR is a new technology that enables electric vehicles to transfer electricity wirelessly from the road surface while moving. The power comes from the electrical cables buried under the surface of the road, creating magnetic fields.
Dong-Ho Cho, a professor of the electrical engineering and the director of the Center for Wireless Power Transfer Technology Business Development at KAIST, said: “It’s quite remarkable that we succeeded with the OLEV project so that buses are offering public transportation services to passengers. This is certainly a turning point for OLEV to become more commercialized and widely accepted for mass transportation in our daily living.”