Charge while driving: US tests wireless EV charging embedded on roads
The transport department of Indiana, US, in partnership with Purdue University has started testing a new type of cement embedded with magnetized particles that will enable wireless charging of electric vehicles as they drive on the concrete path.
The concept of wireless charging of EVs is not something new but Indiana claims to be the first to develop wireless charging concrete pavement highway segment. "This partnership to develop wireless charging technology for highways sends a strong signal that Indiana is on the leading edge of delivering the infrastructure needed to support the adoption of electric vehicles," the sate's Governor Eric J. Holcomb said in a release.
In the first two phases of development, the US state will begin pavement testing, analysis, and optimization research. In the third phase, the transport department will construct a quarter-mile-long testbed at a location that is yet to be determined. At this location, engineers will test the magnatized concrete’s capacity to charge heavy trucks operation at a power of 200 kilowatts and above.
Once all three testing phases are successful completed, the technology will be used to electrify a segment of an interstate highway within Indiana. The location of which is yet to be determined.
The magnetizable concrete is being developed by a German startup called Magment which, in a brochure, claimed that its product has wireless transmission efficiency of up to 95 percent. It added that road sections can be built using its cement at "standard road-building installation costs".
The wireless charging project by the Indiana government is scheduled to begin later this summer. A successful program will bring about an environmental breakthrough in the EV infrastructure industry as it would mean direct charging of vehicles without any pollution and at affordable prices. However, it is a long way to go before this concept becomes a reality.