Spain on the right track

LAST UPDATED: 12 May, 2012 @ 15:00
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Spain on the right track

By Eloise Horsfield

ELECTRIC car drivers can now charge their ‘tanks’ using kinetic energy collected from train wheels.

In the first of its kind in Spain, the Ferrolina will allow users to stock up on electricity at Malaga’s Maria Zambrano station.

Developed by rail infrastructure company ADIF, the device transforms the friction produced when train wheels rub against the tracks in order to brake.

Currently the system uses the high-speed AVE trains between Malaga and Cordoba, but there is scope for other trains to use the same technology.

The move comes as the growth in electric cars has shot up over the last year.

Car companies confirmed that in April the sale of electric or hybrid cars had gone up by 91 per cent year on year.

Juan Manuel Carrasco, from Sevilla University’s Electronic Technology Department – who helped develop the system – said this was being helped by a bigger range of models.

“The cars are now faster, and much more reasonably priced than a few years ago,” he said.

“We need to investigate and develop systems to enable people to recharge their vehicles easily.”

Electric cars take 20 minutes to charge using the Ferrolina, and two vehicles can be charged simultaneously. It is currently free.

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