Detroit, Michigan, is now the first American city to construct a wireless-charging public road for electric vehicles.
On Nov. 29 a public demonstration unveiled the new technology and its capabilities, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.
The new technology is installed in a quarter-mile stretch of roadway on 14th street in downtown Detroit.
In the demonstration a Ford E-Transit commercial van was able to charge its battery while driving over the road — all done wirelessly.
Detroit now boasts the first wireless-charging road in the entire United States. A new quarter-mile road west of downtown can charge electric vehicles while they drive, idle, or park on the street. https://t.co/SFHAUpAzfH
— Scripps News (@scrippsnews) December 5, 2023
The technology used in the wireless charging roadway comes from an Israeli company called Electreon.
As showcased in the demonstration, rubber-coated copper coils are buried beneath standard asphalt.
When vehicles with a special receiver drive over the copper coils, the sensors allow for inductive-charging.
This initiative is part of a broader private-public partnership, announced by Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2021, in which the goal of building wireless charging roadways was set.
The cost for this project is $1.9 million in state funds and $4 million in funds from Electreon and others.
Under this partnership with Electreon, the wireless charging roadway will extend from just a quarter mile to one mile at other locations in Detroit.
Electreon has a variety of international projects it is currently working on, including business in the countries of Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, China and Israel.
Michigan Department of Transportation Director Brad Wieferich said this project would be used as a “springboard,” using the data collected from this experimental phase to evaluate “how we can scale this up.”
In the long term, wireless charging roads are seen as a piece of a much larger electric vehicle infrastructure web.
The charging roadways would be used as a way to increase the range of electric vehicles as they traverse while stationary charging stations would provide the bulk of the charging capacity.
Detroit is nicknamed Motor City in honor of its storied history of American-made vehicles.
Michigan believes it is marking the next chapter in vehicle development by investing in electric vehicle infrastructure.
“In Michigan, we want to stay ahead of the curve. We want to lead the curve,” Wieferich said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
“This project paves the way for a zero-emission mobility future, where EVs are the norm, not the exception,” Electreon Vice President of Business Development Stefan Tongur said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.