Can Electric Cars Charge Themselves While Driving?

Can Electric Cars Charge Themselves While Driving

Electric cars cannot currently charge themselves while driving, although there are technologies and methods being developed to enable this. Charging stations remain the primary means of recharging electric vehicles, despite the inconvenience and time it may take. Here are some methods which we can use in future to charge our electric cars.

Regenerative Braking: Using Kinetic Energy

Can Electric Cars Charge Themselves While Driving
Credits: MDPI

One of the methods is regenerative braking. Regenerative braking is a technology that converts kinetic energy into electric energy when the driver applies the brakes. When the brakes are applied, the motor of the electric car switches from driving mode to regenerative mode, and the motor acts as a generator, producing electricity that is The energy transferred through the wireless charging pads and can be used to recharge the batteries of electric buses and taxis, eliminating the need for them to return to a charging station. This can potentially reduce the requirement for large battery packs, as electric vehicles can be recharged more frequently using this technology.

Regenerative braking is already used in most electric vehicles, and it can significantly extend the driving range of the vehicle. For example, the Tesla Model S can recover up to 90% of the energy lost during braking through its regenerative braking system. This can add up to 30 miles of driving range per day for the average driver.

Using Solar Panels

Can Electric Cars Charge Themselves While Driving
Credits: CNBC

Another method for charging electric vehicles while driving is through solar panels. Solar panels can be installed on the roof or the hood of the car and can generate electricity when exposed to sunlight. While this technology is not new, it is still in its early stages of development and has not yet been widely adopted by electric vehicle manufacturers.

One of the challenges with using solar panels to charge electric vehicles is the limited surface area available on the car for installation. The amount of electricity generated is also dependent on the intensity of sunlight and the angle of the solar panel. Therefore, the efficiency of the solar panel may vary depending on the time of day, weather conditions, and location.

Another challenge is the weight and cost of the solar panel. A typical solar panel weighs around 18-20 kg and can cost up to $1000. Therefore, installing solar panels on electric vehicles can add to the weight of the vehicle, reducing its range and increasing its cost.

Wireless Charging: Using Electromagnetic Fields

Can Electric Cars Charge Themselves While Driving
Credits: go-e

Another technology that can enable electric vehicles to charge themselves while driving is wireless charging. Wireless charging uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy wirelessly from a charging pad on the ground to a receiver on the vehicle. The receiver converts the electromagnetic energy into electric energy, which is used to charge the vehicle’s battery.

Some cities are already using wireless charging technology in electric buses and taxis. In Gumi, South Korea, electric buses have wireless charging pads that allow them to recharge their batteries while they wait at a bus stop. This technology can potentially reduce the requirement for large battery packs as electric vehicles can recharge more frequently.

One of the limitations of wireless charging is the cost and complexity of the infrastructure required. A wireless charging system requires a charging pad, a power source, and a receiver on the vehicle. Therefore, it can be expensive and challenging to implement on a large scale.

Road-Powered Electric Vehicles: Charging Electric Cars through Electrified Roads

Road Charging system in ev
Credits: The New York Times

Finally, another method of charging electric vehicles while driving is through road-powered electric vehicles. This technology uses electrified roads to supply power to the vehicle through a conductive or inductive system. The road infrastructure supplies power to the vehicle while it is in motion, allowing the vehicle to recharge its battery continuously.

Road-powered electric vehicles are still in the experimental stage, and several pilot projects are currently underway. One such project is the eRoadArlanda project in Sweden, which is testing a conductive system that charges electric trucks and buses while they are driving.

Inductive Charging

Inductive Charging
Credits; MDPI

Inductive charging is a wireless technology that uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects. The road has installed an inductive charging pad and electric vehicles have a receiver installed on their bottom. When the car parks over the pad, the receiver detects the magnetic field and starts charging the battery. However, electric vehicle manufacturers have not yet widely adopted this technology as it is still in its early stages of development.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Credits: Alternative Fuel Data Centre

Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising alternative to battery-powered electric vehicles. Fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen to create water. So they potentially offer greater range and faster refuelling times than battery-powered electric vehicles. However, hydrogen fuel cells are still expensive and have limited availability at hydrogen refuelling stations.

Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines
Credits: E-Vehicle Info

Some researchers have proposed using wind turbines to generate electricity to power electric vehicles while they are in motion. The electric car would mount wind turbines and generate electricity as it moves through the air. Nonetheless, this technology is still undergoing experimentation. It’s not yet clear whether it’s feasible to generate enough power to recharge an electric vehicle’s battery.


Although electric cars cannot currently charge themselves while driving, promising methods are being developed. Regenerative braking converts kinetic energy into electric energy during braking, extending the driving range. Solar panels harness sunlight, but face challenges of limited surface area and added weight and cost. Wireless charging uses electromagnetic fields, reducing the need for large battery packs. Road-powered electric vehicles and inductive charging are still in the experimental stages. Hydrogen fuel cells offer an alternative, while wind turbines are undergoing experimentation. The future holds potential for self-charging electric vehicles.


Can an electric car charge while on?

To initiate the charging process, it is necessary to switch off your vehicle.

What happens if you run out of power while driving an EV?

Be transported to the nearest charging station by towing.

Why can’t electric cars charge themselves with an alternator?

Electric vehicles (EVs) do not possess traditional engines, meaning that an alternator would lack a power source.

Which electric car is self-charging?

Both Toyota and Lexus provide self-charging models, and the Hyundai Motor Group also offers vehicles with the same feature.

About M Umer Anwaar

Im a tech enthusiast and blogger based in Karachi, Pakistan. With a passion for all things tech, I have been writing about the latest tech trends for over a year. I hold an HSC degree in Science based subjects and currently, I'm looking to pursue a Bachelor's degree in the computer science field. I have a keen interest in the latest gadgets, software, and mobile apps, and I love exploring new technologies. I'm dedicated to sharing my knowledge and insights on the latest tech trends with my readers at

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