OLEV is an electric vehicle which works on electro-magnetic induction. It was launched on 9th March 2010 by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) headed by Suh Nam-Pyo. The city government of Seoul and KAIST signed a Memorandum of Understating (MOU) on the development of the online electric vehicle in August 2009. Against the backdrop of the public’s increased awareness of environmental pollution and the depletion of fossil fuels, the two organizations agreed to introduce eco-friendly vehicles to the city’s public transportation system, beginning with a bus route in Seoul.


It moves along by drawing energy from the electric power strips buried 30 cm deep under the road surface and connected to national strip. A receiver mounted on the bus’s chassis which picks up the current through contact free magnetic system with 70% efficiency. Composed of one engine and three passenger cars, OLEV travels along a total length of 2.2km. There are four sections of power supply infrastructure on the route (Sections 1, 2, and 3: 122.5 meters long each, and Section 4: 5 meters long). The power supply cables were installed under the road surface for a total of 372.5 meters, 16% of the total distance of the 2,200 meter route. Battery is only 20%as large and powerful as would otherwise be required. Limitations on battery size and power, the issue of battery weight , the range of an electric vehicle between charges, how long it takes to recharge its batteries and not forgetting the availability of charging points and who foots the bill-all currently hot topics in the world of electric vehicle creation.

The non-contact charging of vehicles while running, idling, or parking is an important and practical technology necessary for the development of commercialized electric vehicles. This technology solves many of the issues related to the current batteries of electric vehicles, including size, expense, and maintenance. In addition, non-contact charging is safer because it prevents potential electrical hazards, such as electric shock, that result from direct contact with power sources. Furthermore, it is more convenient to drive vehicles without overhead wires directly connected to power lines, as is necessary for streetcars and trams.

A road embedded with underground recharging strips is divided into several segments so that, when a car drives on a certain segment, a sensor in the segment is turned on, and the car above the segment picks up electricity. A selective provision of power to vehicles with the pickup equipment relieves safety concerns about electromagnetic radiation exposure to pedestrians or other conventional vehicles. EMF test results for OLEV are well below the 1998 the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guideline, 62.5mG at 20khz.

About 80% of power conveyance with 1 cm gap between the vehicle and the power time. The advantages of on-line electric vehicle is that it potentially saves a lot of money by reducing the crude oil imports. It improves air quality in polluted cities and also increase the passenger space. According to the estimation, if only half of the Koreans currently on the road switched to OLEV system, the country could reduce its imports of crude oilby 35 billion barrels per year, saving upto USD $3 Billion. The state-funded institute announced it has applied for more than 120 patents in connection with OLEV.


A subsequent test drive of the technology was attended by dignitaries and government officials, including Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and provided the researchers with an opportunity to promote the concept. Thanks to the positive reception the technology has received at recent demonstrations, KAIST has set up a company to take care of activities which will hopefully see the systems through to commercial production and release, and possible future export.