Sep 28, 2022 - News

Road that can charge EVs as they drive coming to Detroit

Illustration of a road with glowing electricity symbols dividing the lanes.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

A road that charges electric vehicles without them needing to be plugged in is expected to open next year.

How it works: Rubber-covered copper coils installed under a road's surface can charge electric vehicles as they drive.

Why it matters: The project, which officials hope will result in a national deployment of EV-charging roads, helps put Detroit at the forefront of EV infrastructure development.

  • In-road charging networks could be designed so electric public transit or delivery vehicles can save money by reducing charging times.
  • Such cost-saving potential could lead to faster EV adoption.

Driving the news: The state entered a five-year agreement last week with Electreon, a publicly traded Israeli company, to further develop and deploy electrified roads in Michigan and beyond.

Between the lines: The agreement builds on the Detroit pilot project — a 1-mile stretch of road in Corktown — that will help understand how best to use EV-charging roads.

  • The exact location of the project isn't public yet. It will be integrated into the mobility campus under development at the Michigan Central train depot.

What they're saying: "This is what Detroit's been doing for centuries, from three-colored traffic lights to paved roads," Michigan chief mobility officer Trevor Pawl tells Axios. "Michigan — and specifically Detroit — has an obligation, not just an opportunity, to lead the world in what the roads of the future look like, what the cities of the future look like, really."

Editor's note: This story was corrected to note that the road is expected to open in 2023, not later this year.


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