The city of Detroit has unveiled the nation’s first public EV-charging roadway at Michigan Central. This is in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Electreon, the provider of the wireless charging solution for EVs — which charges vehicles as they drive or idle.
Detroit’s 14th Street is now equipped with inductive-charging coils between Marantette and Dalzelle streets, which will charge EVs equipped with Electreon receivers as they drive on the road. The road will be used to test and perfect this wireless charging technology in a real-world environment and perfect it ahead of making it available to the public in the next few years.
“We’re excited to spearhead the development and deployment of America’s first wireless charging road,” said Dr. Stefan Tongur, Electreon’s VP of business development. “Alongside Michigan’s automotive expertise, we’ll demonstrate how wireless charging unlocks widespread EV adoption, addressing limited range, grid limitations, and battery size and costs. This project paves the way for a zero-emission mobility future, where EVs are the norm, not the exception.”
Electreon’s wireless charging technology is based on inductive coupling between copper coils installed below the road surface and receivers installed on electric vehicles. When a vehicle with a receiver nears the in-road charging segments, the road transfers electricity wirelessly through a magnetic field. This electricity is then transferred as energy to the vehicle’s battery. These charging segments can transfer wireless electricity to the receiver either when the vehicle is parked (static charging) or is driving (dynamic charging).
The electric road is safe for drivers, pedestrians and wildlife. Each coil in the road is activated only when a vehicle with an approved receiver passes over the coil. This ensures that energy transfer is controlled and provided only to vehicles that require it.
MDOT and Electreon, a Newlab at Michigan Central member company, agreed to install a combined mile of inductive-charging roadway in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood. The 14th Street charging road runs alongside the Newlab at Michigan Central Building, home to more than 60 tech and mobility startups, allowing for the further testing and advancement of this next-generation technology.
In 2024, MDOT will begin seeking bids to rebuild part of US-12 (Michigan Avenue), which will see additional inductive charging installed. Electreon has also installed two static inductive charging stations in front of Michigan Central Station, which will be able to charge Electreon-equipped vehicles while they are parked.
Remaining work along 14th Street is expected to continue through the end of 2023, with extensive testing of the inductive charging technology beginning in early 2024. Using a Ford E-Transit electric commercial van provided by Ford Motor Co. and equipped with the Electreon receiver, staff will test the efficiency and operations of the vehicle and study potential long-term public transportation opportunities.
“Developing electrified roadways may be the catalyst to accelerate interest and acceptance of EVs for all consumers,” said MDOT director, Bradley C. Wieferich. “Making it easier for EV users to find a reliable charging source without disrupting their commute supports both fleet operations and passenger travel. We’re proud to collaborate with private industry partners and the City of Detroit to support these important initiatives leading us toward a more sustainable future with fewer emissions.”
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Filed Under: Charging, Technology News