What if the Highway could charge your electric car?
People avoid buying electric cars out of fear. Many people worry that the charging infrastructure is inadequate, that they will be stuck between charging stations — a concern known as range anxiety. But now a pilot program in Michigan could ease that tension.
Next spring, the nation’s first mile of public roads that can charge electric vehicles as they drive through it will be operational in Detroit.
A joint venture between the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Israeli mobility startup Electreon, the road is at the heart of a $5.7 million program to study how to charge roads in the environment. Dense cities affect daily life.
The technology is also used to wirelessly charge smartphones — on a much larger scale. A box connects magnetic coils embedded in the asphalt to the grid, and those coils then emit a magnetic field captured by a collector attached to the EV’s chassis. The road isn’t meant to bring an EV back from the void: It charges at 20 kilowatts, roughly the same consumption an EV uses at highway speeds. The transponder can be installed on the assembly line or as an aftermarket accessory, and will operate both while in motion and when the vehicle is parked.
Passenger cars are likely to need one collector, while buses and trailers may need six or more. Drivers will only have to pay if they are charging the battery while on the road, which will also apply to non-electric vehicles.
Advocates say that if every state adopted the technology, it could unlock seamless travel from coast to coast with EVs and cars that would run indefinitely without stopping to recharge.
“It would be an exciting technology if they could implement it,” Tesla Model 3 owner Ryan Talbot told The Daily Beast. “It’s a huge increase in hardware and infrastructure.”
He says he gets between 260 and 280 miles per charge and drives between the Detroit and Grand Rapids subways, a distance of 130 miles, quite often. Range worries didn’t matter because there was a Tesla Supercharger station on his way back from the west coast of Michigan and it took him about 20 minutes to charge enough to get home — where he plugged in the charger. Level 2.
Talbot said if he’s renting an apartment, the lack of home chargers will make him rethink giving up a traditional vehicle for an EV. But his access to Supercharger stations – which are exclusive to Teslas – means that the Electreon road isn’t too much of a demand and it will actually use more batteries to get there than he will. recall.
“I’ll probably test it for kicks,” he said. “I didn’t know I would go to great lengths to have a pure neutral charge state at the end.”
Electreon’s Detroit pilot builds on its projects in Israel and Sweden. Previously, a 2 km long section of the bus toll collection; Another pickup truck was tested and the impact of winter on the 1.6 km long inductive road. The startup chose Michigan for testing in the United States because of the state’s notorious winters and pitted roads that allow engineers to test its technology in extreme conditions. And Michigan is known for its firsts: It was home to the nation’s first mile-long concrete highway and the nation’s first interstate highway system.
Neighboring Indiana is conducting its own experiments with magnetized concrete at a research facility, but Michigan took a shortcut to that effort by deploying directly to a public road.
“Michigan certainly led the first automotive revolution 100 years ago,” Electreon Vice President Asaf Maman told The Daily Beast. “It will lead the mobile revolution.”
However, there are unanswered questions.
Collectors will require semiconductors, and some have forecast the global chip shortage will last until 2026. “At the moment, we don’t anticipate any material shortages.” Michelle Mueller, senior project manager for autonomous and connected vehicles at MDOT. “If it turns out to be a challenge, we’ll come up with a strategy.”
Electreon said that the chip shortage is “a challenge that we will face and that we will address.” They are looking at local suppliers for chips and copper wiring but admit that this could be an expensive proposition – unlike the electric vehicles themselves.
Having an EV in the driveway is a luxury for many people. Last December, the average price was $56,000, $10,000 more than the average internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Factor in Motor City’s highest auto insurance premiums in the country (Michigan leads the US rate) and the widening gap between direct beneficiaries and others.
The median income in Detroit’s Wayne County is less than $30,000 for individuals and less than $50,000 for households. In 2019, electric vehicles accounted for 0.31% of the market share in Michigan based on total sales and accounted for 2.5% of global auto sales in the same year. These numbers are trending upwards, but ICEs outnumber EVs by a wide margin and likely will for decades.
As a result, toll roads will mostly benefit the wealthy while the rest of Detroit’s motorists are forced to circle around crater-like potholes. When Electreon magnets are buried three inches down the street, will those streets be prioritized during pothole season?
“We definitely have to work with the owners and operators of the road for immediate maintenance,” said Maman. However, he stresses that since the magnets are connected in parallel (like Christmas lights) damage to one sensor will nominally degrade performance but will not bring down the entire network or require urgent repair. . He says questions like these are why Electreon doesn’t simply build infrastructure, figure out how to monetize it, and get out of town. “We are in [in Michigan] for operation and maintenance, prepare for these types of scenarios. ”
Both Electreon and MDOT say there are benefits even for non-vehicle owners: cleaner air, less noise and increased efficiency for commercial transportation.
MDOT also sees it as a way to change the less-than-ideal perception of public transit in Michigan. This technology could be a boon for fixed route bus routes and be used to increase or improve options for last mile travel – the distance between parking your personal car and reaching your destination. The next step is to evangelize the Detroiters.
“There will be a lot of outreach and education as we do this,” said Mueller.
Whether that will lead to people taking electric buses to the airport instead of carpooling is anyone’s guess, though.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-if-the-highway-could-charge-your-electric-vehicle?source=articles&via=rss What if the Highway could charge your electric car?