One of the main issues regarding electric cars is that current batteries do no offer enough range. The ones that manage to offer one that is comparable to that of an internal combustion engine car are very expensive and still take a long time to recharge. Many solutions have been proposed to solve that. They include creating better batteries (something many scientists are working hard to achieve), adopt a standard for swappable batteries (that could be quickly replaced in any “battery station”) and creating lanes that recharge the batteries. These electric charging lanes would work by induction, with no need for wires. And the UK has announced it will test the feasibility of such a system for 18 months.
The trials will not be on public roads. They will only be taken to them in case the current trials are promising. Critics claim the advance of batteries will surely make these electric charging lanes obsolete very quickly, but they are missing an important aspect of the whole story. In case inductive charging succeeds, cars will not need huge batteries in order to move. They may not need batteries at all, what would make vehicles much lighter and exponentially more efficient and cheap (most of the electric car price can be credited to the batteries). The British government has already committed £500 million over the next five years to study and eventually implement the technology. At this point of the automotive industry, you can’t say what should or should not be evaluated. Change can come from anywhere, including from under the tarmac.