Electromag Concept Vehicles Go Off The Rails

Electromagnetic propulsion (EMP) is the principle of accelerating an object by using the flowing electrical current and magnetic fields. The electrical current is used to either create an opposing magnetic field, or to charge a fluid, which can then be repelled. This repulsing force is what causes propulsion in a system designed to take advantage of the phenomenon.

Currently, EMP is utilized in transportation systems to minimize friction and maximize speed over long distances. This has mainly been implemented in high-speed rail systems that use a linear induction motor to power trains by magnetic currents. It has also been used in theme parks to create high-speed roller coasters and water rides. Now, Romanian-based designer Lucian Popescu wants to use EMP to power our trips to the grocery store with a pair of futuristic concept vehicles that are visually striking as they are groundbreaking and original.

emp vehicles

image via Lucian Popescu

Popescu’s two EMP concepts use his Pandur 2L Sphere System for propulsion. The system, located within the vehicle’s spherical wheels, uses computer controlled electromagnets to move the sphere. There is no other motor, and suspension is provided by the electromagnetic field between the driver and the sphere.

EMP concept vehicles

image via Lucian Popescu

Popescu has two models on the drawing board. The pod-shaped Le model is designed for long-distance travel and positions the driver completely in the pod. The Li model, which Popescu says is inspired by Romanian motorcycle maker Mobra, looks like a cross between a tractor and a scooter and places the driver in a more traditional upright position.

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Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.