A new initiative to develop the nation’s first wireless charging infrastructure on a public road in the U.S. was announced by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer at the opening ceremony at Motor Bella. A Request for Proposal will be released Sept. 28. The development of a wireless dynamic charging roadway in Michigan is considered a step forward in addressing range anxiety and will accelerate the transition to all-electric transit fleets in Michigan and beyond, the release said.
“Michigan was home to the first mile of paved road, and now we’re paving the way for the roads of tomorrow with innovative infrastructure that will support the economy and the environment, helping us achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Gov. Whitmer. “This project reinforces my commitment to accelerating the deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure in Michigan and will create new opportunities for businesses and high-tech jobs amidst the transition to electric vehicles.”
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification partnered to form the Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot along a one-mile stretch of state-operated roadway in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties. It will deploy an electrified roadway system that allows electric buses, shuttles and vehicles to charge while driving, enabling electric vehicles to operate continuously without stopping to charge.
To date, MDOT has activated the largest vehicle-to-infrastructure technology deployment — nearly 600 miles — in the U.S., including a first-of-its-kind connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) corridor. Michigan is also home to the most diverse collection of automated vehicle and drone testing environments in the world, more mobility-related patents than any other state, and more engineers per capita than anywhere else in the world.
“We’re in the midst of the most significant shift in the automotive industry since the Model T rolled off the assembly line more than a century ago, and Michigan is once setting the course manufacturing the vehicles of the future and deploying charging solutions that make EV adoption more widely available” said Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer with the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. “This electrified roadway has the potential to accelerate autonomous vehicles at scale and turn our streets into safe, sustainable, accessible and shared transportation platforms.”