China’s highly publicized solar highway opened on December 28 with a 2 kilometre section of road paved with 10,000 specially designed solar panels that may one day be able to charge cars as they drive. See the 7minutesolar article here
Five days later, on January 2, when officials dropped by to see how the road was faring under the pounding of real life traffic, a piece about 1/4 of a metre wide and a metre long (6” x 6’) had been neatly cut out of the road and spirited away.
No one is sure why it was done, but the best guess seems to be someone trying to duplicate the technology, which involves the working part of the solar panel being sandwiched between a durable transparent layer and an equally durable backing that can take the wright of thousands of cars rolling over it.
At any rate, the piece has been replaced, traffic is humming again and the tests continue.
As of January 8 the police investigation continues and we’ll just have to wait and see if similar technology pops up for sale on Alibaba or by street vendors on Fifth Avenue.