EV-Charging Roads

You may find yourself driving on an EV charging road in the near future. Wouldn't it be great never to have to stop to charge up?


Well, that idea is inching closer to reality. In Detroit, inductive charging technology is being added to two roads, making them the first wireless electric road systems (ERS) in the U.S. The roads will be capable of charging electric vehicles that install a special receiver while they drive, and the roadway will be fully functional by 2023.


The roads are being embedded with coils that transfer magnetic energy to receivers mounted under EVs. That energy is then used to charge the vehicle battery, whether it is stationary or on the go, reports EcoWatch.


“We’re the auto capital. We continue to push technology advancements,” said Michele Mueller, a senior project manager at Michigan Department of Transportation, as reported by Fast Company.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer first announced the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot in September 2021. In September 2022, Michigan and its partner on the project, Electreon, entered a 5-year agreement to scale up and manage the ERS.


Although Stefan Tongur, Los Angeles-based vice president of business development at Electreon, told dot.LA that this technology may charge slower than traditional plug-in charging stations, it can provide more continuous charging while buses, taxis, or other vehicles are on the move or making stops, meaning less time spent stopping at a station to recharge.


Over time, the technology could extend battery range and make it easier for larger commercial vehicles to electrify, since they could install smaller and less expensive batteries. Rather than paying $150,000 for batteries for each long-haul semi-truck, smaller batteries that would recharge while the truck is hauling freight would cost about $15,000 per truck.


Michigan is one of several states that plans to test inductive charging.

 

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