The TEV Project
The TEV Project
The TEV Project (Tracked Electric Vehicle Project) is the brainchild of inventor Will Jones. The concept is a clean, efficient electric highway that allows conventional EVs to drive indefinitely without recharging (goodbye range anxiety), at high speeds under computer control.
The tracks operate in a similar fashion to how miniature slot cars work; they are fitted with electric rails down the middle and the electric cars connect to the rails via special rail drop-down contacts.
Jones points out: "If we can do it with toy cars, we can do it with real cars,".
An example of a TEV journey if the technology existed today.
One of the best aspects of TEV is that it's imminently doable. Jones insists that the project can be rolled out with no mind-bending technological breakthroughs required. No special cars. No development of more advanced fuel cells or batteries. "There's nothing revolutionary here – except for the concept," he says.
At an estimated $2m per mile, the solution is expensive but perhaps not as as expensive when you consider the benefits it brings and the costs of the alternatives such as high-speed rail or miles upon miles of more and wider highways.
"Of course it will be expensive," Jones concedes. "The answer here is a public-private partnership, with tolls paid by users. There are a lot of investors who are ready to invest considerable sums of money in transportation construction projects where the payback comes from tolls."
The US Department of Transportation has invited Jones to make a presentation in December 2014 at a workshop held by the Federal Highway Administration’s Exploratory Advanced Research Program, which is exploring possible solutions to our current transportation problems.
Will Jones, founder of Philadelphia Scientific, talks about TEV
Some of the main benefits and attractions of TEV are as follows:
- No breakthroughs in technology are needed
- It will virtually eliminate city parking problems and traffic jams
- Dual mode cars which can drive on the track and on regular roads
- More energy efficient
- Reduced petroleum fuel consumption
- Arguably safer as there is no danger from bad drivers
Read more about the TEV Project.