South Korea has launched what it calls the world’s first commercial and economical wireless electric vehicle.

The online electric vehicle (OLEV), developed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), replaces a trackless combustion-engine train running inside the Seoul Grand Park.

Operating as one of the theme park’s seven shuttles the vehicle travels on a 1.37-mile beltway at speed of up to 24.8 miles per hour.

The OLEV, whether running or idle, constantly receives electricity from power cables buried underground through a non-contact magnetic charging method.

Its battery size is one-fifth of those installed in electric vehicles currently in the market, KAIST said.

The wirelessly-powered OLEV is expected to run commercially by 2013.

The government is keen to apply the technology to its city buses, accounting for about 30% of Seoul’s traffic by 2011.