The 8th International Conference on Axiomatic Design

Lisbon, Portugal

September 24, 2014

A Solution to Energy and Environmental Problems

– Electrification of Ground Transportation Systems (EGTS) – 

Nam Pyo Suh

Cross Professor, Emeritus, M.I.T.

Cambridge, MA 02139



The growth of the world’s collective wealth since the industrial revolution has been made possible by technological innovations such as the steam engine and internal combustion (IC) engine that are powered by fossil-fuel combustion. But the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the combustion of hydrocarbons is now threatening the survival of humanity. To survive and thrive in the 21st century, we must increase the efficiency and efficacy of the energy production and consumption, which will lead to lower emission of greenhouse gases. A major source of CO2 is the IC engines with reciprocating pistons. They have low efficiencies because the IC engine is a coupled design. A solution is the electrification of ground transportation systems (EGTS). By replacing vehicles with internal combustion (IC) engines with electric vehicles that receive electric power wirelessly from an underground power supply system, EGTS reduces energy consumption and emission of CO2 at least by 30 percent. This technology can also lower transportation-energy costs by as much as 80 percent in comparison to operating CNG buses. The operational results from Gumi city in Korea indicate that OLEV is extremely reliable and the cost of the electricity used by the OLEV (On-Line Electric Vehicle) bus is about one-fifth of the cost of the fuel used by the CNG bus. In addition, a comparison of the 10-year, lifecycle cost of the OLEV system versus the CNG system, including the cost of the vehicle, infrastructure, fuel, and carbon tax, indicates that the cost of OLEV is less than half of the cost of the CNG bus system. Although it may take many years, full implementation of EGTS may be a solution to energy and CO2 problems of the world.