Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Brad Wieferich and other partners celebrated installing a wireless-charging public roadway. Using technology from Electreon, 14th Street between Marantette and Dalzelle streets is now equipped with inductive-charging coils that 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.
The move to support electrification is widely supported by Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who announced her support in February 2021 to build the first public in-road charging system in the United States. MDOT and Electreon have entered a five-year commitment to develop the electric road system (ERS), piloting the technology on Michigan roads.
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 car with a receiver nears the charging segments, electricity is then transferred as energy to the vehicle’s battery, charging it. These charging segments can transfer wireless electricity to the receiver either when the vehicle is parked (static charging) or is driving (dynamic charging). 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 said the 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 said it will begin seeking bids to rebuild part of Michigan Avenue (US-12), 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.