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In Detroit, two short new roadways will be able to charge electric vehicles (EVs) which use a particular receiver while driving. The roads will be completely finished by 2023.
So how do these roads work? Well, for this project, the roads will be embedded with coils that deliver magnetic energy to receivers under the EVs. The energy created between the coil and the receiver is then used to charge the vehicle's battery. This works either if the EV is stationary or on the move.
Back in September 2021, Governor Gretchen Whitmer first announced the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot. Together with their project partner Electreon, Michigan signed a five-year agreement to scale up and operate the electric road systems (ERS) in 2022.
“This is a great solution to a problem we have today of how to get to zero emissions,” said Tallis Blalack, managing director of the ASPIRE Engineering Research Center headquartered at Utah State University, which focuses on electric vehicle infrastructure. “If we do this correctly, we can decrease the costs of transportation for everyone.”
Stefan Tongur, Electreon’s vice president of business development in Los Angeles told dot.LA that this technology may charge slower than traditional plug-in stations. Fast Company writes that wireless road systems could extend EVs battery range and reduce the idle time required to recharge batteries. This can also “allow freight trucks to transition to electric by making it possible for them to use smaller, less-expensive batteries, say proponents of the technology. They envision inductive charging along sections of highway across the U.S.”
Drivers can use an app on their phone or vehicle control to select whether they want to charge or not. The payment for the charging works just like any other EV charging station. However, the system will be free to drivers during the pilot testing.
During the next few years, programs similar to this one will be tested in other states including Florida, Indiana, Utah and Pennsylvania.
“The potential for electrifying roads and cities is practically endless and working together with MDOT we are reshaping the future of transportation,” Oren Ezer, CEO and co-founder of Electreon, said in a statement.