Detroit becomes first city to install wireless-charging roadway in the US
We've been hearing about in-road EV charging tech for a number of years, including tests from Renault and Stellantis. Now the City of Detroit is reported to be the first installation of wireless charging in a public roadway in the US.
The basic idea behind the technology is, rather than drivers of electric vehicles having to factor in stops to top up batteries, inductive coils embedded under roads could wirelessly send power over a short air gap to receivers mounted under EVs and juice up the cells when vehicles are parked up or moving along.
Such infrastructure could also potentially remove the need for large battery packs, lowering vehicle manufacturing costs and leading to more widespread adoption of electric mobility while essentially nipping any perceived range anxiety in the bud.
The Detroit project sees inductive charging coils from Electreon Wireless installed beneath road surfaces along a quarter mile stretch of 14th Street in the Corktown neighborhood between Marantette and Dalzelle. The copper coils will only be activated when a vehicle fitted with an Electreon receiver moves over, sending "electricity wirelessly through a magnetic field" to charge the vehicle's battery.
Initially, a Ford E-Transit fitted with a receiver will be used to gather data as part of a five-year pilot to perfect the technology in real-world settings and study potential public transport applications – though there are plans to open the electric road system to the public within the next few years.
Electreon has already installed two static inductive charging stations outside of the city's Michigan Central Station, and the Michigan Department of Transport will look at installing more of the technology next year as part of a rebuild project along a section of Michigan Avenue.
"For more than a century, Detroit has been known around the world as the leader in transportation innovation," said Detroit's Mayor, Mike Duggan. "We are birthplace of the auto industry, and the home of the first mile of concrete road and the first three-way traffic signal. Today, thanks to Gov. Whitmer and our partners at Michigan Central and Electreon, we can add the nation’s first wireless charging public roadway to that list of innovations."
The video below has more.
Source: City of Detroit