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DETROIT — The first mile of a wireless electric vehicle charging public road in the United States will be built in the Motor City.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a construction contract to create the nation’s first wireless charging system on a public road in Detroit, the city known for putting the world on wheels. The innovative street infrastructure will be designed to charge EVs while in motion or when parked.
The governor said officials chose Electreon to build an electric road system in Detroit as part of the inductive vehicle charging pilot program. State coffers will contribute $1.9 million toward the project, expected to be completed next year.
The test project will be part of the Michigan Central mobility innovation district in Corktown. The district is meant to foster new urban transportation concepts.
Whitmer said she’s happy to see Michigan lead on groundbreaking efforts for new business opportunities and high-tech jobs.
“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,” she said.
Whitmer announced the project in September last year and soon after called for proposals to build a safe system that can be expanded to larger scale, which will work across the EV industry in financially and environmentally sustainable ways.
State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba said such an in-road charging system will be revolutionary and Michigan should continue to stay “ahead of the technology curve.”
Officials at Electreon, a publicly traded Israeli company, will design and develop the mile of EV-charging road in Detroit in collaboration with U.S. companies like Ford Automotive Co. and DTE Energy, as well as nonprofit leaders and mobility advocates.
The company worked on similar EV-charging road projects in Israel and Europe, among them public bus routes in Tel Aviv, Sweden and Germany, as well as for heavy vehicles along a toll road in northern Italy.
“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,” said Stefan Tongur, the company’s vice president, in a statement.
Environmental regulators are accepting public comments on a draft climate action plan that sets goals for state operations, transportation, businesses and attempts to rectify environmental injustices.
Broad goals of the plan are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Michigan’s economy by 28% by 2025, 52% by 2030, and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
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