The wireless EV charging road that was previously announced by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be complete by 2023.
In a press release issued Tuesday, Gov. Whitmer’s office said the new inductive charging roadway, which will be capable of wirelessly charging an electric vehicle’s battery, will be operational by 2023. The project is currently slated for up to a 1-mile stretch of both dynamic and stationary wireless EV charging in downtown Detroit, the press release said, and is being built with support from Ford, Michigan utilities provider DTE Energy and the City of Detroit.
Whitmer’s office also said this week that it has awarded the contract to install the inductive charging road to Israeli tech firm Electreon. The company is currently building similar EV charging roads in Germany and Sweden, which will utilize copper coils embedded under the pavement to wirelessly charge vehicles’ battery packs. The Michigan Department of Transportation will provide $1.9 million in funding toward the pilot project, Whitmer’s office said Tuesday, with Electreon contributing the remainder.
Michigan State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba said this week the EV charging road pilot project will help Michigan prepare for the expected uptick in EV ownership in the U.S.
“Michigan is aggressively rolling out various charging solutions and we need to continue to stay ahead of the technology curve,” Ajegba said. “A wireless in-road charging system will be revolutionary for electric vehicles, potentially extending their charge without having to stop.”
Whitmer’s office is hopeful that EV charging roadways like the one that will be tested through its inductive vehicle charging pilot program will accelerate EV adoption in the state.
“Electrified roadways have the potential to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles by consumers and fleet operations alike by enabling continuous vehicle operations and turning public streets into safe and sustainable shared energy platforms,” the Governor’s office said.
General Motors is also making significant investments in Michigan to promote EV ownership and adoption. The automaker recently announced it would build a large new Ultium battery plant in the state, which will provide battery cells to its various EV production facilities there, which include Factory Zero in Detroit-Hamtramck and Orion Assembly in Orion Township.