US startup to build one-mile long road that charges EVs as they go

A company in the US is building a one-mile stretch of road that will allow electric vehicles to charge as they drive.

Electreon Wireless was selected to build an electric road system (ERS) in the Detroit as part of the inductive vehicle charging pilot program.

Electreon will lead the design, evaluation, iteration, testing, and implementation of the pilot program, which aims to be operational as of 2023, working with NextEnergy and Jacobs Engineering Group. The project is currently slated for up to a 1-mile stretch of both dynamic and stationary wireless EV charging in Detroit. The project will be hosted by and live within Michigan Central, a mobility innovation district, and supported by partners like Ford Motor Co., DTE Energy, and the City of Detroit.

MDOT will provide $1.9 million in funding toward the pilot project, with Electreon contributing the remainder. Electreon is said to have already implemented its infrastructure across Sweden, Israel, and Italy.

The vehicles will be charged through inductive charging, which uses a magnetic frequency to transfer power from metal coils in the road to a receiver fitted on the electric vehicle.

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the award of a contract to build a first in the United States public wireless in-road charging system, commenting: “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.

“I am happy to see Michigan lead and keep building on these ground-breaking initiatives creating new business opportunities and high-tech jobs. Together, we will continue growing our economy and putting Michiganders first.”

Governor Whitmer first announced the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot in September 2021 at Motor Bella. Later that month, MDOT released the request for proposal specifying the system is safe, scalable, interoperable with industry technology and vehicles, and financially and environmentally sustainable.