FIRST-IN-USA: MDOT awards wireless EV charging lane contract

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Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) today awarded Electreon the contract to build the United States first, public wireless in-road charging system allowing electric vehicles (EVs) to charge while in motion and stationary

The electric road system (ERS) will be built in Detroit as part of the inductive vehicle charging pilot program.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Announcing the historic contract Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said: “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.

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.”

“Here in Michigan, embracing bold innovations that transform the future of mobility and electrification is a part of our DNA,” said Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer for the State of Michigan. “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.”

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.

Images: AdobeStock

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).