Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced the award of a contract to build a first in the United States public wireless in-road charging system allowing electric vehicles to charge while in motion and stationary.
A company called Electreon has been selected to build an electric road system in Detroit as part of the inductive vehicle charging pilot program.
Governor Whitmer says: “As we aim to lead the future of mobility and electrification by boosting electric vehicle production and lowering consumer costs, a wireless in-road charging system is the next piece to the puzzle for sustainability.
“I am happy to see Michigan lead and keep building on these ground-breaking initiatives creating new business opportunities and high-tech jobs. Together, we will continue growing our economy and putting Michiganders first.”
Governor Whitmer first announced the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot in September 2021 at Motor Bella.
Later that month, MDOT released the request for proposal specifying the system is safe, scalable, interoperable with industry technology and vehicles, and financially and environmentally sustainable.
US Representative Brenda Lawrence says: “This is such an exciting time for the Motor City and the entire state.
“Michigan continues to lead the charge on electric vehicles, and this investment in the first public wireless in-road charging system in the US further solidifies our position as a leader in EV technology.
“Public-private partnerships like this is how we will promote innovation and outcompete the rest of the world. I applaud Electreon for receiving this award, and I’ll continue to champion investments in electric vehicle infrastructure.”
Paul C. Ajegba, Michigan state transportation director, says: “Michigan is aggressively rolling out various charging solutions and we need to continue to stay ahead of the technology curve.
“A wireless in-road charging system will be revolutionary for electric vehicles, potentially extending their charge without having to stop.”
The project is currently slated for up to a 1-mile stretch of both dynamic and stationary wireless EV charging in Detroit.
Stefan Tongur, vice president of Electreon, says: “We are proud and thankful to be selected by the Michigan Department of Transportation to lead and implement the first wireless electric road system in the United States.
“We’re excited to be transferring our success in wireless charging for a variety of electric fleets – from cars to buses and heavy-duty trucks – to this innovative project.
“There’s important work ahead with our partners in Detroit to develop scalable, ‘plug-free’ charging that will future-proof the city’s EV infrastructure.”
Carolina Pluszczynski, Michigan Central development director, says: “The electrified future is one of the focus areas for Michigan Central, and we are creating the platform and convening the partners to help scale EVs and discover new technologies and business models.
“Implementing a public wireless EV charging road system in the district area – the first in the US – will help not only serve as an asset for innovation for many partners, now and in the future, but also as a tool for education on the value electrification can create, including for everyday needs.
“This collaboration symbolizes the open platform Michigan Central is creating for partners of all kinds to come together and test and deploy innovations in a real-world environment.”
Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer for the State of Michigan, says: “Here in Michigan, embracing bold innovations that transform the future of mobility and electrification is a part of our DNA.
“We are thrilled to see how Electreon’s proposals become a nationwide model for how we can continue accelerating electric vehicle adoption and usher in a new generation of transportation technologies.”
Tim Slusser, City of Detroit’s chief of mobility innovation, says: “The City of Detroit and the Office of Mobility Innovation are excited to be a part of this first-of-its-kind deployment in the US.
“We look forward to this wireless charging infrastructure attracting other mobility tech companies to Detroit to innovate.
“The City is committed to working with companies like Electreon to help keep Detroit at the forefront of electric vehicle technology and mobility innovation.”
MDOT will provide $1.9 million in funding toward the pilot project, with Electreon contributing the remainder.
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.