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Detroit now has the country's first wireless-charging road for EVs

Detroit officials reassure the public that the electric road is safe for drivers, pedestrians, and wildlife.

A management unit, left, which transfers power from the electricity grid to in-road wireless charging coil segments.
A management unit, left, which transfers power from the electricity grid to in-road wireless charging coil segments.
SMS

It's official! Detroit has the first wireless-charging road in the entire United States. 

A new quarter-mile roadway west of downtown Detroit can charge your electric vehicle while you drive, idle or park on the street.

The technology is by Electreon, an Israel-based developer of wireless charging solutions for electric vehicles, and it works via copper coils under the road and receivers on electric vehicles. When a car with a receiver is close to the coils, electricity transfers wirelessly through a magnetic field, charging the vehicle's battery.

"Alongside Michigan's automotive expertise, we'll demonstrate how wireless charging unlocks widespread EV adoption, addressing limited range, grid limitations, and battery size and costs. This project paves the way for a zero-emission mobility future, where EVs are the norm, not the exception," Stefan Tongur, Electreon’s vice president of business development said in a press release.

Officials say that the electric road is safe for drivers, pedestrians, and wildlife, and that the coils in the road activate only when a vehicle with an approved receiver passes over them.

“For more than a century, Detroit has been known around the world as the leader in transportation innovation,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “We are the birthplace of the auto industry, and the home of the first mile of concrete road and the first three-way traffic signal.  Today, thanks to Gov. Whitmer and our partners at Michigan Central and Electreon, we can add the nation’s first wireless charging public roadway to that list of innovations."

The State Department of Transportation and Electreon have committed to a five-year partnership to develop new electric road systems in the city. 

The news comes as the popularity of electric vehicles in the United States surges, and many across the nation find themselves struggling to find charging stations.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration emphasized its plan for half a million EV charging stations as a key component of its infrastructure objectives, with the goal to "have EVs make up at least 50% of new car sales by 2030."