Electric Vehicles 2012

January 23, 2012 by staff 

Electric Vehicles 2012, The Utah State University Research Foundation has announced it will hold a conference in February, bringing together national and world leaders in electric vehicle technology to focus on an new approach to transportation.

The Conference on Electric Roads & Vehicles is scheduled for Feb. 16-17 in Park City at the Newpark Resort and Hotel.

With a theme of the “Driving Ideas, Energizing Partnerships,” CERV will provide scientists, engineers, managers, policy-makers, investors, and other interested private sector stakeholders with a forum where they can present, discuss and learn about these technologies.

“It’s an up-and-coming field,” said Jeff Muhs, conference chair and president of the Energy Dynamics Laboratory. “Up until now, we’ve always thought vehicles would have to carry all of their energy on board. … This conference, for the first time, will challenge the assumption that vehicles have to be the sole carrier of energy in highway travel.

“What we want to come out of this two days in is more partnerships and more dialogue among the stakeholder groups that will take this technology forward,” Muhs continued. “Education stakeholders on the possibilities and the challenges.”

Conference speakers include: Doug Lemon, president of Utah State University Research Foundation; Thomas Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and president and chief executive officer of UT-Battelle; and Anthony “Tony” Tether, former director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

CERV will focus on integrating vehicle and highway infrastructures into a network of electric roadways and cars, using technologies that deliver energy wirelessly, on demand in real time, and to both stationary and moving vehicles.

Muhs said the immediate short-term application will be focused on how to make wireless energy transfer to stationary vehicles commercially viable.

During the summer of 2011, the USU Innovation Campus’s Energy Dynamics Laboratory operated the first high-power, high-efficiency wireless power transfer system capable of transferring enough energy to quickly charge an electric vehicle. The system demonstrated 90 percent electrical transfer efficiency of 5 kilowatts over an air gap of 10 inches – a feat never before accomplished.

The next step will be to apply it to in-motion applications – and a Utah State University spin-out company is doing that. USU recently secured a $2.7 million Transit Investment for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction, or TIGGER, grant that will go to WAVE Technologies – the new vehicle electrification company based in Park City – to electrify a bus route on the University of Utah campus.

The grant will bolster the USU Research Foundation’s effort to expand on the research and investment already being put into the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative-funded Wireless Power Transfer program.

On top of the TIGGER grant, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced it was providing $40,000 to WAVE, as part of a package of $400,000 of grants in support of new technologies that universities and licensees are seeking to commercialize. The grants will help contribute to Gov. Gary Herbert’s overall target of accelerating the creation of 100,000 new Utah jobs in the next 1,000 days.

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