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Friday, February 3, 2023

A Magnetic Levitation Car May Be the Next Big Thing From China

Chinese researchers conducted road testing last week for modified passenger cars that use magnets to float 35 millimetres above a conductor rail

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

CHINA: Ever envisioned a world with flying automobiles? then this Chinese car may be edging closer to becoming a reality.

According to various sources, Chinese researchers at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, Sichuan province, conducted road testing last week for modified passenger cars that use magnets to float 35 millimetres above a conductor rail.

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The sedans were modified with strong magnets on the vehicle floors by the researchers, enabling them to float over a conductor rail that was approximately five miles long. According to the report, a total of eight cars were tested, with one test reaching speeds of about 143 miles per hour.

According to sources, government transportation authorities conducted experiments to research high-speed driving safety measures. However, according to Deng Zigang, a university professor who worked on the vehicles’ development, adopting magnetic levitation for passenger cars may result in lower energy consumption and greater range.

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That might help with “range anxiety,” a problem faced by the electric vehicle industry when customers worry that they won’t be able to finish a trip in an electric car without running out of energy.

Since the 1980s, some commercial trains have employed magnetic levitation, or “maglev,” which uses an electrified magnetic field to propel or pull objects at high speeds.

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Today, maglev trains are used in South Korea, China, and Japan. In Qingdao, Shandong province, last year, China unveiled a maglev bullet train with a top speed of 373 miles per hour.

The lack of friction in maglev technology should enable high-speed transport without using as much energy as conventional engine power. Both Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One and Elon Musk’s

The Boring Company have put out the technology for their respective hyperloop ventures. Volkswagen created a concept hover car in 2012 as part of a more than a ten-year investigation into the viability of maglev vehicles.

But there are still some potential safety vulnerabilities to be resolved. What happens, for instance, if a fast car drifts from its magnetic track? 

The extremely challenging infrastructure is another big issue, any nation would need to make a significant public investment and devote years to building a statewide network of electromagnetic motorways.

The difficulties might be worthwhile to overcome: George Sassine, a vice president at the State Energy Research and Development Authority of New York, said on LinkedIn in 2018 that an “era of magnetism” would revolutionise the energy sector and aid in the fight against climate change.

While this all might sound very speculative but it will be surely our future in the coming years.

Also Read: Mate Rimac: The Bugatti SUV and Electric Vehicle to Launch By 2032

Author

  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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