"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," Whitmer said. "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."
Whitmer first announced the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot in September 2021 at Motor Bella. Later that month, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) released the request for proposal specifying the system is safe, scalable, interoperable with industry technology and vehicles, and financially and environmentally sustainable.
"Michigan is aggressively rolling out various charging solutions, and we need to continue to stay ahead of the technology curve," State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba said. "A wireless in-road charging system will be revolutionary for electric vehicles, potentially extending their charge without having to stop."
Electreon will lead the design, evaluation, iteration, testing, and implementation of the pilot program, which aims to be operational as of 2023, working with NextEnergy and Jacobs Engineering Group. The project is currently slated for up to a one-mile stretch of both dynamic and stationary wireless EV charging in Detroit. The project will be hosted by and live within Michigan Central, a mobility innovation district, and supported by partners like Ford Motor Co., DTE Energy, and the City of Detroit.
“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," said Stefan Tongur, Vice President of Electreon. "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.”
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.