A road system that wirelessly charges electric vehicles (EVs) as they drive will be piloted on a one-mile stretch in Detroit.
Israeli start-up Electreon has been selected for the inductive charging trial following a request for proposals (RFP) from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).
The technology is slated to limit range anxiety, lower total costs of EV ownership, and reduce battery capacity needs. It uses copper coils embedded under roads and connected to the electricity grid, along with receivers installed under vehicles.
“As we aim to lead the future of mobility and electrification by boosting electric vehicle production and lowering consumer costs, a wireless in-road charging system is the next piece to the puzzle for sustainability,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The road, which should be operational by 2023, will be situated within the Michigan Central mobility innovation district, and supported by partners such as Ford Motor Co., Next Energy, DTE, Jacobs Engineering Group, and the City of Detroit.
Stefan Tongur, Vice President of Electreon, said it would be “the first wireless electric road system in the United States.” The project will include both dynamic and stationary charging.
“We’re excited to be transferring our success in wireless charging for a variety of electric fleets – from cars to buses and heavy-duty trucks – to this innovative project,” said Tongur. “There’s important work ahead with our partners in Detroit to develop scalable, ‘plug-free’ charging that will future-proof the city’s EV infrastructure.”
MDOT will provide US$1.9 million in funding for the pilot project, with Electreon contributing the remainder.
“The City of Detroit and the Office of Mobility Innovation are excited to be a part of this first-of-its-kind deployment in the US,” said Tim Slusser, the City of Detroit’s Chief of Mobility Innovation. “We look forward to this wireless charging infrastructure attracting other mobility tech companies to Detroit to innovate.”
On the road
Electreon is also running pilots in Germany, Italy and Sweden, and says it is preparing to execute a recently signed commercial deal to provide a plug free charging network for 200 public buses in Tel Aviv, Israel.
In July 2021, the Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University announced plans to develop a contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement highway segment. The project will use ‘magnetisable concrete’ developed by German start-up Magment GmbH – enabling wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive.
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