There are about 31,251 square miles of roads, parking lots, driveways, playgrounds, bike paths, and sidewalks in the lower 48 states. If Julie and Scott Brusaw have their way, they will all someday be replaced with solar panels.
For the better part of a decade, the Idaho couple has been working on prototyping an industrial-strength panel that could withstand the weight of even the largest trucks. They now appear to have cracked the formula, developing a specially textured glass coating for the panels that can not only bear tremendous loads but also support standard tire traction.
By their reckoning, at peak installation their panelized roads could produce more than three times the electricity consumed in the U.S.
The material could power electric vehicles through a receiver plate mounted beneath the vehicle and a transmitter plate is installed in the road.