AutosDetroit's pioneering road: Charging electric cars while driving

Detroit's pioneering road: Charging electric cars while driving

Illustrative photo
Illustrative photo
Images source: © Associated Press
7:39 AM EST, December 1, 2023

Detroit, affectionately known as "Motor City", is currently a shadow of its past glory. Nonetheless, the city is adapting to the modern era, exemplified by the introduction of a pioneering road that permits cars to charge whilst driving.

A distinctive 820-foot span of Fourteenth Street in Detroit has officially become one of the most exceptional roads internationally. This innovation is attributed to an installation embedded in the asphalt that enables inductive charging of electric vehicles.

Israeli firm Electreon is offering this solution that promises to revolutionize the industry, but presently, it is far from universal due to one significant hurdle. There's a scarcity of mass-produced cars with the required receivers that could harness energy from the road.

Notwithstanding this setback, the system has been proven functional, as showcased in officially sanctioned tests that involved a reconfigured Ford e-transit. The vehicle, modified to accommodate inductive charging, could charge at a rate of 16 kW, whilst maintaining an approximate speed of 8.7 mph.

While these specifications may not be overly commendable, the successful operation of the technology warrants acclaim. "This might not seem like a substantial breakthrough, but it's a giant stride," said Joshua Sirefman, CEO of Michigan Central, a Ford subsidiary.

Brad Wieferich, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, expresses a similar sentiment, likening the technology to a revolution. Stefan Tongur, Vice President of Development at Electreon, adds that these roads ensure safety for other vehicles, pedestrians, and wildlife, as each coil only activates during the transit of a car equipped with the appropriate sensor, and the surface is just conventional asphalt.

New technology installed beneath a street in Detroit can charge electric vehicles as they drive

Despite its potential benefits, the costs associated with implementing this technology might hinder its progression. The 820-foot stretch in Detroit had a price tag of 1.9 million dollars.

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