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Researchers use wireless technology to speed transition to electric vehicles


For Engineering Professor Rajit Gadh, knowledge is power. In particular, that’s electric power and finding new ways to harness, store and deliver it as growing numbers of American drivers give up their gas-guzzlers for electric vehicles.

While the benefits of clean-energy, petroleum-free electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are clear to a nation dependent on foreign oil, making this large-scale transition poses a whole new set of problems.

Take the seemingly simple matter of charging EV batteries, said Gadh, director of the UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center (SMERC) at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Problem one is having enough charging stations for everyone, given that one station costs several thousand dollars to install and the rapidly advancing technology requires regular upgrades. Problem two is power capacity.